A few weeks back, Coca-Cola informed us that there is no distinguishable difference in taste between Coke made with High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Coke made with cane sugar. But when we asked the people at Pepsi the same question, they had a very different answer.
Says a rep for Pepsi to Consumerist:
We do believe there is a taste difference between HFCS and sucrose. While some consumers do not taste a difference, others express a preference for one or the other. Millions of consumers love Pepsi the way it is made today — with HFCS — and we know that products like Pepsi Throwback, Mountain Dew Throwback and, now Sierra Mist Natural, which are sweetened with sucrose have devoted followings.
Without getting into the hotly debated topic of whether or not HFCS is any worse for consumers than sucrose, the rep did say that people are buying the real-sugar products for a variety of reasons: “Some consumers prefer sucrose for taste reasons, others for nostalgia reasons or because they think of it as a more natural sweetener option,” she said.
As for the continued and future availability of the Throwback beverages, the rep tells Consumerist, “Both Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback have traditionally been ‘limited time offer’ products — available for only a few weeks at a time. Due to consumer demand we have extended their availability and brought them back a few times. For next year we’ve already made plans to bring them back, but availability may change due to a variety of factors including regional popularity and retail space.”
We also asked why, in places like New York City, it’s often easier to find Throwback drinks in small corner stores than it is at larger, chain groceries. The rep explained that it’s likely due to local bottlers and distributors finding these stores more willing to purchase and try out small quantities of the relatively new products.