Hungover? Pedialyte wants your business

Lene Lay has some rather unusual advice for Vegas visitors: don't forget the Pedialyte.

The Austin, Texas, resident and director of sales at Q1Media swears by the drink after it helped her battle a bad hangover during her Sin City bachelorette party—but admits she initially thought "it was a little weird because it's usually reserved for children."

Pedialyte a hangover cure? The company increases its focus on adult consumers.
Source: Pedialyte
Pedialyte a hangover cure? The company increases its focus on adult consumers.

Lay is not alone: Adults are a growing part of Pedialyte's market. A third of its sales now come from grown-ups while adult use of the drink has increased by 57 percent since 2012, according to data from market research firm Nielsen.

Realizing this, Pedialyte has begun targeting these older customers who use the product to hydrate—often after a night of drinking. The brand has already begun advertising on social media with a "See the Lyte" campaign that features ads with shirtless men. One ad promises, "When last night's party threatens to ruin today, those in the know reach for Pedialyte." (Tweet This)

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While the causes of a hangover are complex and thus there is no one cure, Pedialyte and competitor Gatorade do help treat handover-induced dehydration, said Dr. Robert Swift, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University's Alpert Medical School.

"The thing about Pedialyte, Gatorade and things like that, there is an optimal concentration to absorb glucose and electrolytes and fluid from the intestines," Swift said.

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With adults in mind, Pedialyte is launching a new powder pack format this month in orange and strawberry-lemonade flavors, which are more convenient than the usual giant jugs the drinks comes in. It will also start handing out samples at occasions such as sporting events and music and street festivals to reach the adult market.

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"The adult usage really grew out of social media" and "simple word of mouth," said Heather Mason, an executive vice president at Abbott, Pedialyte's owner

By growing sales to adults, Mason said the company thinks the brand's sales can accelerate to double-digit growth.

It's already won over at least one convert in Lay. Now she tells "anyone who is going to Vegas or a big event ... to check a bag and bring the Pedialyte."