Wednesday, October 17, 2018

From the Beverage Aisle: Gatorade Sunbolt

Product: Gatorade Sunbolt
Company: Quaker/Gatorade North America
Years: 1994

This product was brought to my attention by one of my favorite Podcasts, The Rad Years (check em out here, kids: ). 

Imagine a time, long ago, when there were no energy drinks. No Rockstar. No Monster. No Red Bull.
There were only 2 options if you wanted to feel awake and alert in the mornings: Get a good night sleep (Ha!) or drink a cup (or 6) of coffee. Oh, and cocaine. So there's 3 options, but not really.

Anyway, Gatorade saw that people loved their regular Gatorade, and the non-coffee drinkers were drinking it in the mornings to get all the vitamins and electrolytes as a pick me up before their big day of slam dunking basketballs and/or sitting in the cubicle next to Carl (No, I didn't see the big game last night, Carl). So they thought to themselves "Hey? Why not make a caffeinated version of what these people already love???!! It's like Gatorade....mixed with coffee! But not really. But really."

And so Sunbolt was born. It was more of a citrus drink...think Sunny D mixed with gatorade, mixed with caffeine. They also made a non-caffeinated version of the drink, for those people who actually did get a good night sleep the night before, but still wanted something to drink and for some reason couldn't track down orange juice, or regular Gatorade, or Sunny D, or water, or milk, or really, a vast array of liquids that are readily available to everyone at literally all times.

"Sure, there's other things we can drink, but were hip 20something in the mid 90's,
dressing like extras from Friends. So for us, it's Sunbolt all the way, dude!!!
Unless you've got any of that cocaine....If so, we'll take that."
Sunbolt was test marketed in the Baltamore/Washington DC area as well as the Philadelphia area.
It was sure to be a huge success!
(In my best Morgan Freeman voice.....ahem....)
"It was not a huge success."


Sunbolt was marketed for about 3 months but never really expanded nationally.
It fizzled out and was soon forgotten about. But like Zima, I think that Sunbolt was 20 years ahead of it's time. The market now is saturated with caffeinated "morning drinks" for the non coffee crowd.

I'd love to go back and try Sunbolt. As a kid, I bet it was a rush to know you were getting all looped up on caffeine drinking what essentially looked like a bottle of OJ. Heck, I'd love to try it now.
Because sometimes you need to switch it up a bit, and a refreshing bottle of Sunbolt would be a nice change of pace from the the daily cups of coffee.

At least I've still got my Cocaine. (I kid...I kid...... )


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  6. There actually was an energy drink back then. Jolt cola!