Diet Pepsi is changing their sweetener before launching a major rebranding campaign next month. PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) is trying to strengthen its brand after constantly losing market share to The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) for years. The newer cans of Diet Pepsi in the shelves list two new artificial sweeteners that are present in newer diet sodas.
Earlier, Diet Pepsi contained only aspartame that breaks down easily due to heat. During this summer, reports surfaced that PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) was testing new sweeteners, but the company had declined any such move. By changing sweeteners, the company is trying to prevent degradation of taste over time. Companies don’t usually admit such changes publicly because they don’t want to fetch any attention towards the use of artificial sweeteners in the drinks.
However, PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) spokesperson Andrea Canabal said that Diet Pepsi containing new sweeteners started selling in the first week of December. She said PepsiCo. is planning a major advertising campaign featuring actress Sofia Vergara, and will have the theme “Love Every Sip.” But the ad will not communicate anything about the sweetener change.
Along with aspartame, the Diet Pepsi cans now also list acesulfame potassium as a component. Acesulfame potassium is also found in other foods, like chewing gum, baked foods, and gelatin desserts.
John Sicher, a beverage industry expert and editor of Beverage Digest, says that PepsiCo’s attempt to mix two sweeteners is aimed at making Diet Pepsi taste fresh longer. He noted that a change in sweetener doesn’t change the flavor. The type of sweeteners differs in Diet Pepsi depending on the region of the world.
PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) has ramped up its efforts to boost sales of its flagship products, due to pressure from investors. The company has partnered with with singer Beyonce, and signed a multi-year contract with NFL to sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show. Pepsi’s TV ads feature soccer star Lionel Messi, the boy band One Direction, and singer Nicki Minaj.
Diet Pepsi is the No.7 soft drink in the United States, with a 4.9 percent market share, down from 5.3 percent in 2000. In the same period, the market share of Diet Coke increased from 8.7 percent to 9.6 percent. Whether PepsiCo’s efforts will pay off is yet to be seen.