Gatorade has become one of the most popular sports drinks in the world, known for its bright colors and flavors as much as for its ability to hydrate you and replenish electrolytes. A lot of athletes swear by this line of drinks, which also explains why world-famous sports figures like Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter became spokespeople for Gatorade in the past, and why this drink has become associated with an active lifestyle.
In addition to all these associations, one of the most beloved things about Gatorade is the wide variety of flavors available. Almost everyone who drinks it on a regular basis has a favorite, and a lot of people will only drink their preferred flavor or two and nothing else.
Considering the seemingly endless varieties available today, you may be interested to know that Gatorade actually had a lot more over the years, but discontinued quite a few flavors over time. In fact, as of 2020, Gatorade had discontinued 26 flavors, with quite a few more taken off the shelves since then. Though it doesn't look like they will be coming back any time soon, we thought we'd take a look at what kind of flavors the company has premiered throughout the years. Keep in mind, some of these might still be on sale outside the U.S., so if your favorite Gatorade is out of stock here, keep an eye out when you're abroad.
Read more: 31 Coffee Brands, Ranked From Worst To Best
Originally introduced in 1995 and sold in a glass bottle, Lemon Ice became an instant hit among fans of the drink for its subtle lemonade taste. However, a few years later it was shelved, only to be reintroduced in the mid-2010s, and then shelved yet again.
Gatorade's decision to discontinue the Lemon Ice flavor probably came as a shock to those who widely considered Lemon Ice one of the most popular and beloved flavors available. In the years since Lemon Ice was last on shelves, a lot of fans have gone online to express their displeasure at the line's discontinuation, starting Facebook groups like "Bring Back Lemon Ice Gatorade," and creating petitions to ask the company to get the drink back in stores.
So why did Gatorade decide to stop offering it? According to representatives from the company online, Gatorade had always intended Lemon Ice to be a limited time offering to be sold at 7/11 stores. While it still may come back at some point in the future, it looks unlikely to happen any time soon. Currently, similar Gatorade flavors like Lemonade and Lemon-Lime are among the top ranked Gatorade bottles on the market.
Gatorade Flow Kiwi Strawberry
In August of 2020, a fan on X, known then as Twitter, asked Gatorade about the Flow Kiwi Strawberry flavor, as a search for this specific variety in every local store had yielded no results. Using the official company handle, Gatorade let the customer know that this specific flavor had just been discontinued.
A lot of customers seemingly loved this drink, and the news of its discontinuation came as a real blow to this flavor's fans. The original drink had an avocado green hue, made with a combination of yellow dye No. 5 and blue dye No. 1 artificial coloring, that honored the kiwi flavor in this particular Gatorade bottle, while the pink label evoked the drink's strawberry component. Some people confuse this variety with Strawberry Kiwi Gatorade, which is, in fact, a different flavor altogether that's part of the company's main series and still available in stores.
As with a lot of discontinued flavors, people could still occasionally spot Flow Kiwi Strawberry in stores until recently after production stopped, as the existing product line had to be sold off first. However, no new production of the Flow Kiwi Strawberry flavor is taking place in 2023. If you really have a craving for it, you might want to browse websites where people who have a couple of bottles squirreled away are now selling them to ardent fans for whom the flavor was taken away from them too soon.
G2 Blueberry Pomegranate
In what may be a recurring theme with a lot of the flavors on this list, the G2 Blueberry Pomegranate was an incredibly popular Gatorade variety with customers before it was discontinued in October of 2019. In fact, when the brand was directly asked about the flavor on the X platform and responded that it was no longer making it, the response from customers online could best be described as outrage.
Over two years later, people were still responding to the original tweet telling Gatorade that its removal of G2 Blueberry Pomegranate was its "worst decision ever made." So why was the original line so popular in the first place?
Gatorade debuted the G2 series in 2007 and marketed it to a rapidly growing population of yoga customers, as well as off-duty athletes. Part of the reason customers may have flocked to Blueberry Pomegranate specifically might have to do with the delicious berry-like taste. The G2 series in general was a relatively healthy option. G2 Blueberry Pomegranate, as with other G2 drinks, was low-calorie and had a lower sugar content than most other Gatorade flavors, so customers could stay hydrated without throwing off their diet or getting too many added sugars in their drink.
ESPN The Flavor
ESPN the Flavor, also known as Berry Thirst Quencher, was a red, berry-flavored Gatorade drink released in 2004. Since Gatorade has long been associated with athletics, a collaboration with ESPN for the channel's 25th anniversary made a lot of sense.
This drink wasn't exactly discontinued; it was a limited-edition release, so it was never meant to be produced indefinitely. As far as reactions from customers go, not too many have requested the return of this flavor, most likely reflecting the fact that this Gatorade drink came and went mostly unnoticed.
However, despite this flavor no longer being sold in stores, Gatorade continues to have a close working partnership with ESPN. Most recently, it sponsored the 2022 ESPY award show, and continues to work closely with the NFL and NBA. One of the best athletic events the company sponsors is the Gatorade Player of the Year Awards, which brings together 12 of the best high school athletes from across the country to honor their achievements.
Frost Alpine Snow
Gatorade premiered the Frost drink series to showcase flavors that were extra crisp, cool, and refreshing. Arctic Blitz and Glacier Freeze are two of the most popular and commonly found varieties, and are still available in stores throughout the United States.
One Frost flavor that didn't survive Gatorade's frequent culling of its various drinks is Frost Alpine Snow. Unlike a lot of other items on this list, the reason for Frost Alpine Snow's discontinuation is crystal clear: Customers absolutely hated it. If a company releases as many flavors as Gatorade has over the years, it's not surprising that some of them might miss the mark.
Of the many complaints from those who tasted it, one particularly vocal customer described the drink as a "water-colored bitter-tasting atrocity." Due to the negative reaction from the majority of its customer base — and one taste test conducted by the Chicago Tribune which concluded that even children despised the flavor of Frost Alpine Snow — Gatorade decided to stick to the flavors that work and scuttle this almost universally disliked drink.
Iced Tea Cooler
Introduced in 1993, Iced Tea Cooler is a vintage Gatorade flavor — one that we're reasonably sure no one in Gen Z has had the chance to try. Customers generally loved the Iced Tea Cooler, with its crisp, lemon-like, refreshing taste. It was perfect for replenishing your electrolytes on a hot summer's day as well as imitating the almost universally loved flavor of iced tea, an exceedingly popular drink since 1904.
This flavor clearly made a big impact while it was out in the world, as customers on X were asking Gatorade about plans to bring it back on the market as late as 2021.
Though it doesn't taste exactly the same, another Gatorade drink that comes close to the Iced Tea Cooler in flavor is the brand's Citrus Cooler. Unfortunately, it's currently undergoing limited distribution, meaning it's unlikely you'll find it in your neighborhood supermarket or convenience store. However, you can order it online, and it is still available in select locations .
Kids who grew up in the '90s will probably remember the advertising campaign for the limited-release Gatorade flavor of Midnight Thunder. The adrenaline-fueled commercial that played all over TV at the time had clips of fighters, BMX riders, and other athletes in dark or rainy environments, all set to a blaring rock soundtrack with some spooky imagery to boot. It was almost impossible to miss it no matter what channel you watched.
This dark-hued, blackberry-flavored Gatorade was released in 1999, and was discontinued shortly thereafter due to its limited-edition status. However, a lot of millennials remember this drink fondly, and miss the strong, slightly sour flavor of Midnight Thunder. A few fans have actually started a petition online to get Gatorade to re-release one of their favorite drinks.
Even though Gatorade later debuted another blackberry flavor called Blackberry Wave, it just wasn't the same. Customers generally didn't seem to see it as a replacement for Midnight Thunder, and this second blackberry Gatorade drink was discontinued shortly thereafter as well.
Released in 2001, the brightly colored, light-green Starfruit was introduced and discontinued within the span of a year. Even though customers barely managed to get their hands on this drink before it was taken off shelves again, Starfruit still has a lot of loyal fans today who are hoping for the day Gatorade will bring it back, and are still asking the people at Gatorade to do so well into the 2020s.
Though actual starfruit tends to be a "love it or hate it" food, especially depending on how ripe it is, Gatorade Starfruit was a much more palatable version of the fruit's flavors, and thus seemed to have wide appeal when it was on the market. Based on the company's responses to customers inquiring about a comeback, it seems increasingly unlikely that after two decades Gatorade will ever be bringing this vintage flavor back. But for customers who really want it to happen, there's no harm in continuing to ask and try.
This particular flavor was part of another discontinued Gatorade series called Rain, one that the company eventually stopped selling even though some of the drinks were adored by fans. Rain Lime got its name because of its lime-like flavor, as well as its intense neon-green color.
The Rain series, which launched in the early 2000s, also included variations like Rain Cherry, Rain Strawberry Kiwi, and Rain Tangerine, all of which were distinguished by their bright colors, ranging from cherry red to ultra red-pink. Rain Lime lasted several years before being discontinued in February of 2016.
If you are one of the many people who vehemently disagreed with Gatorade's decision to pull this flavor from shelves, you can sign the Change.org petition to bring this flavor back. One of the many comments sums up peoples' feelings on the issue by saying: "Rain Lime was a game changer, much like the revolutionary sports drink itself." The creator of the petition aims to put Rain Lime on Gatorade's permanent roster of flavors, so it wouldn't be taken on and off the market or placed in limited distribution, as has been the case with so many other flavors over the years.
Gatorade flavors were not all created equal regarding their distribution and availability in stores. The gray-colored Ice Punch was unfortunately one of the flavors seemingly given short shrift when it came to shelf life.
On social media, Gatorade stated that the product was discontinued in 2020. Strangely, Ice Punch was reintroduced the next year, but only made available in "12oz/6 count with very limited distribution," according to a Gatorade tweet. Though some customers who had access to it and tried it loved it, others absolutely hated the taste, making this one of the more polarizing Gatorade flavors. The lack of widespread availability coupled with Gatorade's frequent discontinuation of its products meant that Ice Punch quickly got pulled from the few shelves it was even on.
Perhaps customers who loved it should try making their own version of Gatorade Ice Punch at home. With a few simple ingredients, including sugar, salt, and some frozen fruit, it actually can be done, so if you have the will, you can experiment with flavors until you find the way.
Flow Blackberry Wave
Gatorade's other blackberry-flavored drink after Midnight Thunder, Blackberry Wave, didn't perform nearly as well as its limited-edition predecessor. Strangely, for a blackberry drink, it had a lava-red color when it debuted, with only a blue label giving any acknowledgment of its supposed main ingredient. This probably added to the general confusion and lack of interest from customers, as did the flavor's limited availability.
Blackberry Wave was part of Gatorade's Flow series, which also included flavors like Tidal Punch, as well as Citrus Crash and Pineapple Mango. Pretty much all the Flow flavors have now been discontinued, though customers can occasionally find a stray bottle or pack online or in stores where the supply has not been completely depleted. However, Blackberry Wave becomes an increasingly rarer find online as time goes on and all the existing Flow bottles are consumed.
As with many other flavors, Blackberry Wave had a relatively limited distribution, which didn't help its popularity at all. It was eventually discontinued sometime before 2021, to a small chorus of customer disappointment.
Frost High Tide
The green-hued Frost High Tide was introduced to the public in 2001. It was part of a new marketing ploy that Gatorade had undertaken with the Frost series in general. The company wanted to expand its customer base beyond traditional athletes and those playing team sports to anyone active or simply looking for a cool, refreshing drink.
The VP of Gatorade's marketing department, Sue Wellington, said of the Frost series: "This product will have great appeal to our core consumer while also bringing new users to the franchise ... While active consumers currently look to water to quench their active thirst, we foresee them turning to Frost in those same situations in the future."
Though this was a bold move for the company, Frost High Tide didn't get the greatest feedback regarding its taste. Some compared it to a lesser version of the Starfruit drink; similar in taste but not as good. The lack of customer enthusiasm for this particular product is evident in the fact that, unlike other previously well-liked or popular flavors, there has been no online clamor to get High Tide back on store shelves. If you want to sample the Frost series today, opt for Frost Glacier Freeze, introduced in 1997 and still available as of 2023.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.