Don’t know if you’ve heard, but America is — er, how to say this nicely? — fat. The terms “overweight” and “obese” have been beaten into consumer consciousness so much that soda companies, long the target of ire of the health-conscious, have been trying to find a lower-calorie option that consumers across the girth of a nation can enjoy.
PepsiCo claims to have the answer. Since July, it has been testing out a low-sugar, mid-calorie soda, Pepsi NEXT, in Wisconsin and Iowa and the consumer response "exceeded … expectations," according to AP. Now, the company plans to start selling its newest brand nationally early next spring, AP reports.
With 60% fewer calories than regular Pepsi, Pepsi NEXT weighs in at 40 calories per 8-oz serving and 60 calories per 12-oz serving. Pepsi-Cola North America described the beverage as a health-conscious alternative in its press release announcing the July test:
"Pepsi NEXT was created for consumers who seek the rich taste of full-calorie cola but have decreased their consumption in order to reduce the sugar in their diet. While sugar-reduction is a priority for this segment, they have not adopted the flavor profile of a zero calorie cola. Pepsi NEXT delivers in the sweet-spot for these consumers with its real cola flavor and 60 percent less sugar."
"As part of our continued commitment to innovate our carbonated soft-drinks portfolio, we developed Pepsi NEXT, a great tasting, full-flavor cola with 60 percent less sugar," said Massimo d'Amore, CEO, PepsiCo Beverages America. "In thorough consumer research, Pepsi NEXT resonated very well with consumers who are seeking a new, reduced sugar alternative to their loved cola."
The word from Beverage Digest is that the company will sell NEXT, which competes with Coke Zero, in a few different sizes and plans to eventually sell it outside of the U.S., but a PepsiCo spokesperson wouldn’t confirm either of those statements.Continue reading...