Pepsi Removes Aspartame over Consumer Concerns
PepsiCo has decided to remove controversial artificial sweetener aspartame from its Diet Pepsi in the US amid consumer concerns about its safety.
Aspartame-free Pepsi cans will go on sale from August in the US.
However, regulators insist aspartame is still safe to use in soft drinks.
PepsiCo says its decision is a commercial one – responding to consumer preferences.
In 2014, sales in Diet Pepsi fell by more than 5% in the US, according to latest figures.
Similarly, sales of Diet Coke, which also contains aspartame, decreased by more than 6%.
PepsiCo says it will replace aspartame with sucralose (commercial name Splenda) mixed with acesulfame potassium (Ace-K).
Pepsi VP Seth Kaufman said: “Aspartame is the number one reason consumers are dropping diet soda.”
In tests, Seth Kaufman said, people still recognized the reformulated drink to be Diet Pepsi but it might have a “slightly different mouth-feel”.
The change only applies to the US market and will affect all varieties of Diet Pepsi, such as Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi. It will not apply to other PepsiCo drinks, such as Diet Mountain Dew.