Diet Pepsi Quietly Debuts New Sweetener

Early this month, Diet Pepsi silently made a few adjustments to its sweetener as part of PepsiCo Inc.’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its flagship brands, reports the Associated Press.

Diet Pepsi originally used aspartame alone as its sweetener, but the ingredient is known to break down when exposed to high temperatures. To address this, Diet Pepsi now contains a new ingredient, acesulfame potassium, which is commonly used alongside artificial sweeteners to help preserve the taste.

The new ingredient is reportedly being used in “very small” quantities.

The rollout of the new Diet Pepsi cans has already begun in some areas. So far, consumers in New York, Omaha, and the San Francisco Bay Area have reportedly spotted the new ingredient on cans of Diet Pepsi. For better or worse, the new ingredient doesn’t appear to have changed the taste.

PepsiCo spokesperson Andrea Canabal told the Associated Press that thew new Diet Pepsi cans are expected to be released nationwide within the next several weeks.

As Canabal points out, the process of deploying new cans of Diet Pepsi will take some time. “It’s not like a light switch. It’ll start appearing as shelf space clears,” she said.

Over the next several months and well into 2013, PepsiCo intends to make a big push to strengthen its brands. Diet Pepsi’s new ingredient is just one of many planned changes which include a new logo, and a new theme, and a big marketing budget.

The LA Times writes:

“Whether the efforts will pay off with increased sales remains to be seen. In the latest quarter, PepsiCo said its soda volume in North America fell 2%, reflecting the broader decline in soft drink consumption that has plagued the industry since 1998. But the company noted that its share of the market had improved.”