Diet Pepsi May Be Getting Sweetener Tweak

PepsiCo has decided to consider a new recipe for Diet Pepsi by replacing its US-based Diet Pepsi formula with one similar to formulas used in some international markets.

Two Independent PepsiCo bottlers confirmed the news, saying that the new formula will attempt to make the Diet Pepsi you drink taste more like it does as soon as it is made, reports The Wall Street Journal. Currently, the formula has a tendency to change through heat and jostling that cans and bottles are exposed to on their way to warehouses and inside delivery trucks.

The US Diet Pepsi formula uses just one sweetener — aspartame — which breaks down and loses some sweetness in high temperatures, according to one bottler. Too much shaking during transport can also break down the taste. Because of this, the end product you drink can taste different than when it first came off the production line.

PepsiCo spokeswoman Andrea Foote denied the possible formula change, saying:

“While we are always looking at ways to provide the best consumer experience, we have no intention of changing the Diet Pepsi formula or the great taste that our consumers know and love.”

Bloomberg Business Week notes that the new version would still create the same taste but that it would combine aspartame with a mix of artificial sweeteners including acesulfame-potassium (ace-K), which has a longer shelf life.

The company has already made a similar change to its Diet Mountain Dew formula in 2006, and the Coca-Cola Co. changed the sweetener used in Diet Sprite in 2000. John Sicher, publisher of the industry tracker Beverage Digest, explained that companies create a “synergistic effect” by blending artificial sweeteners, which increases the potency of the sweetener’s.