On Monday, PepsiCo Inc announced that it would reintroduce its Diet Pepsi that is aspartame sweetened to stores in the U.S. beginning in September. This will be its most recent attempt to stop the plunging sales of its diet cola.
The company announced it would be continuing the sales of Diet Pepsi that is sucralose-sweetened, which it introduced in August of 2015 to replace its version that had aspartame.
PepsiCo said as well that it would rename its smaller brand of diet cola Pepsi Max to Pepsi Zero Sugar within the United States.
These moves arrive as sales of diet soda continue a steep decline across the U.S., where the consumer is avoiding most artificial sweeteners.
Sales declines for Diet Pepsi accelerated following the company’s replacement of aspartame with sucralose, another type of artificial sweetener.
Loyalists of Diet Pepsi complained about the new taste of Diet Pepsi that had sucralose.
Consumers want to have a choice of diet colas so the company is refreshing the lineup in the U.S. to provide them with three options, which will meet the tastes preference and differing needs of the buyer.
Last year PepsiCo said it changed the recipe of Diet Pepsi because of surveys from consumer that showed aspartame – long the primary soda industry’s sweetener for zero-calorie – was the biggest reason that Americans were buying less and less diet colas.
Although the United States Food and Drug Administration insists on the safety of aspartame, some studies flagged concerns over health and internet reports have tied the sweetener to things from autism to cancer.
However, new drinkers of Diet Pepsi have not materialized since PepsiCo launched its sucralose version in August of last year.
That is due in part to American rejecting on an increasing basis all of the artificial sweeteners not only aspartame over concerns for their health.
Close to 42% of the people in the U.S. avoid aspartame during a survey conducted in March, 35% avoid sucralose, which was up from last year’s 25%.
Those that avoid artificial sweetener acesulfame commonly called Ace K, increased from 13% to over 28%.
The FDA as well as health authorities from different countries continue saying that artificial diet sweeteners remain safe, pointing at hundreds of studies done in the past.
PepsiCo defended the Diet Pepsi taste for its new recipe, which includes Ace K and sucralose. At the same time, it reiterated earlier in June that its aspartame version would be available once again to consumers.