Are you one of those people who don’t want all the sugar and calories in regular, full-flavor soda pop but can’t handle the flat, synthetic taste of diet drinks? If so, Pepsi has a product in the works that may be just what the doctor ordered.
Pepsi Next is due to hit shelves by March of 2012, and it’s a “best of both worlds” compromise. It is rumored to be free of sugar, and sweetened with a combination of high-fructose corn syrup and three different artificial sweeteners. Pepsi Next is said to contain 60 calories per can.
Remember a few years ago when Pepsi Edge came out? It, too, provided about half the calories of a can of regular Pepsi, but was pulled after a very short shelf life because it didn’t sell well. Pepsi feels that Pepsi Next has a flavor much closer to regular Pepsi.
The company researched Pepsi Next by using what’s known as a “taste curve,” which takes the consumer’s full flavor experience into account, from the second the drink hits the tongue right through the aftertaste. Regular Pepsi was plotted on a taste curve, and the company continued tinkering with Pepsi Next until it resembled regular Pepsi’s taste curve as closely as possible.
Pepsi is seeking to regain some of its flagging market share, which is down almost 4 percent over the last decade. Diet Coke now holds more market share than all Pepsi products combined.