Adults using children’s medicine for grownup purposes isn’t anything new but usually that use amounts to a small amount of a product’s sales, not almost a third of them! According to data recently released by MarketWatch, almost a third of all sales of Pedialyte, the electrolyte rich beverage meant to help kids who are sick feel better, are for adults who aren’t looking to cure their ailing child, but instead want to cure their hangover. Though hangovers still remain a modern mystery, at least one reason for the pain post-drinking seems to be dehydration, which electrolyte-packed beverages like Pedialyte claim to cure.
Of course, the dehydration found in sick kids is typically due to throwing up from a stomach bug, not a hangover, but there’s no reason the application usage can’t be widened to ailing adults. According to MarketWatch, Pedialyte has become incredibly popular among adults in recent years with a growth in sales of nearly 60% since 2012. Heather Mason, Executive Vice President at parent company Abbottt Laboratories, credits the growth in adult sales to social media. Celebrity supporters, like Pharrel, told Us Magazine that he drinks Pedialyte nearly every day. “There’s an underground movement in social media to drive word of mouth…we saw increased use by adults. We have high electrolyte and lower sugar content than common [hydration] beverages. That combination caused us to say, ‘We need to be part of this,'” Mason says.
Mason claims that Pedialyte doesn’t have the intention of formally targeting the product to adult consumers, even though they are introducing a Pedialyte powder, available in sticks, geared toward adults. However, this Cinco de Mayo tweet sure seems like they’re going after the hangover afflicted:
#CincoDeMayo #rehydrate pic.twitter.com/rjqgnuGT21
— Pedialyte US (@pedialyte) May 5, 2015
So does this graduation themed one:
Go get that diploma. #rehydrate pic.twitter.com/kYN22AHNvA
— Pedialyte US (@pedialyte) May 14, 2015
There is a certain cutesey quality in reclaiming a product for babies as a naughty adult treat. Perhaps it’s the same psychology that gives us glee when we eat a wine-spiked popsicle: we feel like we’re doing something illicit, even if all we’re really doing is curing a hangover.
Images courtesy of Pedialyte