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PepsiCo Ready to Relaunch Diet Pepsi in HD, Add Veggies to Tropicana

Posted by Dale Buss on December 17, 2012 04:04 PM

PepsiCo continues to shore up the foundations of one of its key beverage brands even as it finally enters a hot-growing segment where it hasn't gone before in a bid to win more market share. Diet Pepsi is employing a new formulation that includes a substance called acesulfame potassium (known as Ace-K) as one of its sweeteners.

Previously, Diet Pepsi had been sweetened entirely by aspartame, but sources told that the beverage giant found that heat would break down amino acids in the sweetener and lead to loss of flavor. Rollout of the new formula reportedly has begun in New York, Omaha and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Acesulfame potassium, as AP noted back in August, is meant to prevent taste degradation, and also perhaps to make the US formula for Diet Pepsi consistent with that used elsewhere, for manufacturing efficiencies. PepsiCo now tells AP that the goal is to put the tweaked flavor of Diet Pepsi "in high definition," and that a new ad campaign touting the new flavor, logo and tagline for the soft drink is launching in January.

In the meantime, PepsiCo also is leaping into the increasingly popular fruit-and-vegetable drink segment with new Tropicana Farmstand. It's a chilled, 100-percent fruit-and-vegetable juice that targets parents looking to sneak veggies into their kids' diets, with carrots, beets and sweet potatoes part of the mix.

Campbell Soup's V8 brand and others have beaten PepsiCo into this segment, and V8 V-Fusion with fruit and vegetable juice has been selling well. Tropicana Farmstand's launch is scheduled for January.

The line will provide one serving of fruit plus one serving of vegetables in each eight-ounce glass and will be an "excellent" source of Vitamins A and C, and a "good" source of potassium. Launch flavors will be Peach Mango, Strawberry Banana and Pomegranate Blueberry.

PepsiCo plans TV, print, digital and in-store advertising as well as extensive in-store sampling — and isn't to be confused with Tropicana's Trop50 Farmstand Apple flavor that rolled out two years ago:

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