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    Consumer Demand Leads to Aspartame-Free Diet Pepsi Launch

    Three brands now flavored with a blend of sucralose.

    PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo Inc. unveiled a new offering to help consumers beat the heat on Monday with the launch of aspartame-free Diet Pepsi. Retailers throughout the United States now offer Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi sweetened with a blend of sucralose.

    "Diet cola drinkers in the U.S. told us they wanted aspartame-free Diet Pepsi and we're delivering," stated Seth Kaufman, senior vice president Pepsi and flavors portfolio, PepsiCo North America Beverages. "We recognize consumer demand is evolving and we're confident cola-lovers will enjoy the crisp, light taste of this new product."

    To support the launch of the new sweetener with the same familiar taste, PepsiCo is kicking off an integrated marketing effort that encourages consumers to taste the diet cola through sampling, advertising, coupons, retail promotions and social media activations.

    This change in sweeteners comes after Kaufman stated that aspartame is the No. 1 thing Pepsi customers complain about, according to market research firm Packaged Facts. Pepsi's new cans will display the words "Now Aspartame Free" above the Pepsi logo.

    People are more motivated to switch to natural sweeteners, such as less refined sugars, honey, coconut sugar, and natural zero calorie sweeteners, from sugar and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, according to Packaged Facts' report, Sugar, Sugar Substitute, and Sweetener Trends in the U.S., 4th Edition. The report examines how consumers' awareness of possible ill effects of sugar affects their consumption habits.

    This trend is likely to affect the market of sugar and sweeteners, particularly in beverages, and Diet Pepsi will likely see a sales increase following the introduction of the new drink formula, Packaged Facts predicted.

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