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Sporting behaviour? I think not

While I will always defend the industry in its continued efforts to help point consumers in the right direction when it comes to a healthy, balanced diet – be it through traffic light labelling or calorie-counted options – I’ll also speak out when I believe it has acted irresponsibly. In this instance, I’m referring to PepsiCo’s decision to expand its Mountain Dew energy drinks portfolio with a new range that it claims will give video gamers ‘improved accuracy and alertness’.

Apparently, the new drinks are designed to consider ‘how gamers play’, which means the cans have resealable lids to allow for ‘more uninterrupted gameplay and easy opening’.

“Knowing gaming is an endurance sport, we listened to what players have been asking for when it comes to beverages,” Erin Chin, senior director of marketing for Mountain Dew, has reportedly said by way of explanation.

The product will go on sale in January in the US – a nation for whom obesity is already a huge issue (forgive the pun). So how does a global drinks manufacturer encourage a growing army of couch potato gamers to get off their backsides?

Erm, it doesn’t. Instead, it offers them a caffeine-fuelled, vitamin-charged drink on the premise that it will boost their game, and do good things for their bodies too.

Wonder how many athletes who compete in real endurance sport would fancy a can.

My bet is, they’d run a mile. Because unlike many of their sofa-bound buddies, they can.

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