PepsiCo ditches aspartame in diet drinks in the US
Global beverage giant PepsiCo has announced it will remove artificial aspartame from its Diet Pepsi product in the US later in 2015, after consumer backlash against aspartame saw PepsiCo’s sales drop.
The Company has said it will replace aspartame with a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium in Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi sold in the US from August 2015. It has been reported that the move to ditch aspartame came after a 5.2 per cent decline in Diet Pepsi’s sales volume in 2014.
Sales of diet soft drinks containing aspartame have declined in recent years, amid consumer concern about the health impacts of the artificial sweetener. This concern continues despite assurances from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other world health agencies that there is no proof of a health risk from aspartame.
Australian Food News reported last week that a study published by the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) concluded that participants who were self-diagnosed as sensitive to aspartame showed no difference in their response after consuming a cereal bar, whether it contained aspartame or not.
“Decades of studies have shown that aspartame is safe, but the reality is that consumer demand in the US has been evolving,” said Seth Kaufman, senior vice president of Pepsi and the company’s flavours drinks in North America, in an interview. “The US diet cola consumer has been asking and asking and asking for an aspartame-free great diet cola,” he said.