This is why we love our friends at Hispanic Tips, the best and most comprehensive Latino news curation site on the Internet today. Tonight Tomás Custer, the owner of Hispanic Tips and one of the nicest and most hard-working guys we know (he's been doing HT for years, way before it was "hip" to be Latino), shared this link and it caught our attention: it looks like Gatorade is getting all Spanglish.
The post from FronteraDesk.org, titled "No Product Is Immune from Latino Marketing," discusses a new line of flavors being produced by Gatorade called LIMON PEPINO and SANDIA CITRUS. Now, mind you, once we got past the fact the the two Spanish names appearing on bilingual labeling are missing accents and one of them (Sandía citrus) is not actual Spanish, we kind of scratched our heads. Why is Gatorade even doing this?
So we read the post from Frontera and found out the following from the author of the post:
Intrigued, I contacted Gatorade about these new products. A spokesperson said it was part of a new flavor line called Sabores de Mi Tierra, or Flavors From Home. In addition to the Limon Pepino (Lime Cucumber) and Sandia Citrus (Watermelon Citrus), there are melon and tangerine flavors.
Gatorade said this line is the result of strong brand recognition among Latino athletes, and that consumers found the product "nostalgic" and "appeals to our culture." The spokesperson also gave me a quote that, "The bilingual packaging led to feelings of inclusion and comfort."
They didn't give a name of the Latino consumer who said that, and I'd be surprised if people really chose their beverages based on Spanglish packaging as opposed to taste.
Also, if these flavors are "From Home" that implies those who buy it in the U.S. have roots somewhere else, which would be an interesting marketing tack. The Gatorade spokesperson didn't say if these flavors were being sold outside the U.S.
So, what do you think? Is this just another gimmick by a major American brand to have a special "Latino" product to prove that they are getting all down with the times, or do you think that this is a sign of the times: the move for more diverse flavors?
As for us, just give us Gatorade Yellow, Orange, and Fruit Punch. When we think of the flavors of our "homes," lime cucumber sports drinks are not at the top of our list. We don't need our sports drinks to get all "Latino" on us. There is just something forced about Gatorade creating new "Latino" flavors and marketing them in places such as Phoenix, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Miami, San Diego, Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta and West Texas.