Pepsi Thinks You Might Want Just A Few Calories In Your Soda

If full-calorie soda dumps too much sugar into your system and diet drinks just don’t have the punch you want, Pepsi wants to woo you with its new 60 calorie-per-can offering, Pepsi Next. It’s been years since they’ve launched a major product, so perhaps the name “Tada!” would’ve been a fun choice. Just sayin’.

The Associated Press (via USA Today) says Pepsi is following in the less-sugary steps of other brands like Dr Pepper, which recently introduced its Dr Pepper Ten, that has — you guessed it! — only 10 calories. Next will hit stores by the end of March, and is expected to fire things up in the soda war among Pepsi and its competitors like Coca-Cola.

Trying to lure health-conscious customers with a “mid-calorie soda” is a challenge, as both Coke and Pepsi saw early in the 2000s with offerings like C2 and Pepsi Edge, respectively. Both exited the market in 2006 because not enough people liked them.

Thing is, if you want to guzzle a sugary drink, you’re not trying to be healthy whatsoever. And if you drink diet soda, even a few calories is too many. But if you’re the type to try something new, Pepsi Next is due on store shelves nationwide by the end of March.

Pepsi’s mid-calorie soda aims to win back drinkers [USA Today]

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  1. shepd says:

    Bring back Crystal Pepsi or GTFO!

    • tbax929 says:

      I see a lot of demands for Crystal Pepsi to come back. I’m curious as to why a soda that was clearly (no pun intended) so popular was discontinued in the first place. Did you know a lot of people who drank it?

      I remember when it came out, and I remember it being a complete failure, but I could be misremembering; I was a kid and wasn’t allowed to drink soda. I just wonder where all these people clammering for Crystal Pepsi were when they were actually selling it.

    • chefboyardee says:

      YES!!!!

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      Eighties Dan, is that you?

    • do-it-myself says:

      I miss that stuff! My parents use to buy it by the case load from BJs in the early 90s! In also never realized that Pepsi one was off the market. It had only one calorie as opposed to 60!

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      Now I’ve got Van Halen’s “Right Now” stuck in my head. Thanks Shepd.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      I still have an empty 2 liter bottle of Crystal Pepsi sitting in the basement, along with glass bottles of 7up Gold.

  2. Cat says:

    Do those 60 calories still come from HFCS?
    Yes?
    Then, I’ll pass.

    • pythonspam says:

      It would not surprise me to see a blend of HFCS and Splenda® or other sugar-replacement.
      I was going to say artificial sweetener, but there is nothing natural about HFCS.
      AGAVE SYRUP OR GTFO

      • theconversationalist says:

        Agave syrup is all marketing. It has very similar profile (and heavy chemical processing) to HFCS and is still worse for your body than real cane sugar.

        • redwall_hp says:

          I don’t care about how healthy any of it is. (If you’re concerned about it, drink water…) But cane/beat sugar is much, much better than anything else from a flavor standpoint. Artificial sweeteners taste disgusting, HFCS has a harsh taste and leaves an extra sticky feeling behind after you drink it, while cane sugar has a much more mellow flavor.

        • Dallas_shopper says:

          Agave nectar is a total racket.

  3. pop top says:

    Can women consume these 60 calories, or is it just for men? I NEED TO KNOW.

  4. t2fastspin says:

    …NEXT…

  5. agent 47 says:

    I actually loved C2. I was bummed when they “canned” it. Lol. Woot!

  6. dolemite says:

    MMM C2. It was great. You could tell it was a little “off” from coke, but there was none of the diet soda nasty aftertaste. It was just impossible to actually find it reliably anywhere.

  7. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    I’m in a good place with Pepsi Max. No calories necessary.

  8. El_Fez says:

    The thing is, why the hell do they have to make their sodas (and drinks) so damn sweet. A while ago, I picked up a Snapple that was half and half with normal Lemon tea and then half diet-ish. A logical thinking person would think “Hey, they just took half the sugar out, thereby reducing the calories”. No, they kept the same level of sweet, but now with extra Nasty Chemical Taste in the diet half.

    It was horrendous, tasted like suckling on Satan’s butthole.

    • agent 47 says:

      Ironically, I’m pretty sure the planet Satan was trapped on was sucked into a black hole.

    • Cicadymn says:

      It’s because they put so much Sodium in the drinks (it makes you thirsty) So to counteract the saltiness of the Sodium they put in they’ve got to load in the sweetener.

  9. Hartwig says:

    So you get both HFCS and Aspartame? Sounds like a lose lose to me.

  10. Barry Bunch O'Krunch says:

    “Pepsi Next is made with a mix of three artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup.”

    In other words, it’s going to taste like poison. The reason people don’t like diet sodas is less about the image and more about the putrid flavor (and metallic aftertaste) of the artificial sweeteners.

    If they just made a slightly-less-sweet soda with half the sugar (hell, half the corn syrup) and no additional sweeteners at all they might really have something.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      So they are hitting THREE groups of people with specific allergies.

    • jmhart says:

      People don’t like diet soda? Since when? Last I checked Diet Coke was the second highest selling beverage second only to Coke.

    • mikesanerd says:

      +1. I avoid diets because of the horrible taste. They used to make me sick to my stomach when I was a kid. I can stomach them if necessary now, but it tastes like I’m drinking a glass of industrial chemicals.

  11. AngryK9 says:

    Mountain Dew Next!

    • Lyn Torden says:

      I mixed Mt Dew Pitch Black with Mt Dew Whiteout and got something out of an Oscar Wilde novel.

    • dolemite says:

      I saw a Mt. Dew in the store recently that said it had 10 calories. But it was an “off” flavor. I’d emailed them last year to ask if they were making a “Mt. Dew 10″ and they said no, so I was confused.

  12. HowardRoarksTSquare says:

    This stuff will sell as well as Jar-Jar Binks memorabilia

  13. Lyn Torden says:

    If they are putting artificial sweeteners in it, then I probably cannot drink it. I cannot consume any of the artificial ones at all, with the exception of sucralose in only small amounts.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_substitute

    There are natural no/low calorie sweeteners, such as erythritol. But they, especially erythritol, shorten shelf life since they break down faster (slower if refrigerated). And the break down products of erythritol leave a “chemical taste” (no idea what it is, but I suspect ethylene glycol, which would be a erythritol split in half and hydrated).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythritol
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethylene_glycol

    They should just cut the sugar back and leave the artificial or alternate stuff for diabetic and extreme diet users.

    BTW, I’ve found that I actually like the UNsweeted tea drinks if I weaken them with an equal amount of water to cut the bitterness. But most stores can’t seem to keep these in stock (maybe because they and/or manufacturers underestimate the popularity).

  14. crazydavythe1st says:

    Safeway has a store brand soda that is probably 75% stevia and 25% pure cane sugar that’s something like 50 calories. It actually tastes decent too. That’s the direction Pepsi should go – no artificial sweeteners and cane sugar instead of HFCS (if only for the taste difference).

  15. longfeltwant says:

    Just to be clear, Dr. Pepper “Ten” does not contain ten calories, it contains 15 calories:

    http://www.drpepper.com/text/products/drpepperten/nutrition/

    It is TEN CALORIES PER EIGHT OUNCES, TWELVE OUNCES PER CAN. That is ridiculous, and should be illegal as outright fraud. What, could they say ZERO CALORIES (per drop, rounded down to the nearest full calorie, 1,750 drops per can)? Give me a f**king break.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Actually, it might be 10 calories per can and not per serving. There is some mandatory rounding that happens when making those labels. I think its to the nearest multiple of five. Even then, using 7.5 calories per eight ounces, I get 12 ounces being 11.25 calories.

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        Ah, but then I guess I could round again, since that 11.something ounces would round down to 10 per 12 ounces.

        Maybe that’s what they did. A bit shady… but hey, that’s the system.

  16. LabGnome says:

    It is not an uncommon practice for people to mix diet and regular to get rid of the diety taste of diet.

  17. Hirayuki says:

    They’ve had a product called “Pepsi Nex” (note the lack of final T) in Japan for a while now. It’s their name for what’s essentially a Pepsi version of Coke Zero and tastes dandy. I don’t know why they don’t just bring that over–why add calories? (I thought they once had something like this in the States, sort of a not-extra-caffeinated version of Pepsi MAX.)

    • erinpac says:

      Is Pepsi MAX doing the same thing (I’d guess a different no calorie sweetener?) that Coke Zero is?
      Coke Zero >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Diet Coke.
      Pepsi Max also tastes much better than Diet Pepsi, so it would make sense. I wish they had a vanilla or cherry version.

    • nishioka says:

      i drank Pepsi Nex like crazy while I was in Japan. Used to drive me bananas when 7 Eleven would cycle it out to make room for some other soda like baobab flavored Pepsi for a couple weeks because I’d get a craving for it after midnight and the Seico Mart would be closed.

  18. ChuckECheese says:

    That Dr Pepper Ten in the color-blind can doesn’t have any flavor advantage over diet Dr Pepper. I don’t mind the flavor of Splenda, but it is never used for major brand diet sodas; it’s all ace-K and aspartame.

  19. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    I’d consider it. I HATE, LOATHE, DESPISE, CAN NOT STAND (I am making myself clear?) the aftertaste of every artificial sweetener I have ever tried. I almost never get a soda with meals since it seems I am drinking desert with my meal.

    A less sweet soda actually appeals to me, assuming that they don’t reup the sweetness with artificial sweeteners. And 60 calories is not that bad, that is about an extra 10 minutes of my walk. But, then again, most of the times I would have a soda are when I am working on a late project and doing physical labor so I would burn it off anyway.

  20. daemonaquila says:

    “Mid-calorie” is idiotic. It’s still a lot of sugar calories, and some restaurants (as already has been done by Pizza Hut with the Dr. Pepper 10) will call it Diet without telling their customers. Just waiting for the lawsuits from the diabetics who wind up in the hospital.

  21. vliam says:

    Pepsi Next. It’s been years since they’ve launched a major product

    How does this break that trend?

  22. kcrobinson says:

    There’s a big market for 1% milk. There is something subliminally comfortable about the mid-range option that’s not as unhealthy as 2% but not as tasteless as skim. Considering that the gap of sugar and calories between Pepsi and diet was so huge, I’m not surprised that they try to bridge that a little.

  23. coldwatersrundeep says:

    More crap.

  24. zandar says:

    If they are achieving this by just reducing the amount of sugar/HFCS, good for them! Just about everyone I know who likes colas agrees they could be less sweet anyway.

    If they are achieving it by reducing sugar/HFCS and adding in artificial sweeteners, all I can say is fuck that noise. Then you’d have the worst of both worlds. I won’t be bothering, no matter how they try to pour it down my throat.

  25. Tim says:

    What about Pepsi One and Pepsi Max? Aren’t they the same thing?

  26. hush404 says:

    It’ll all depend on taste I suppose. I drink diet soda as I don’t care for the pointless sugar intake, but would be interested in seeing mid ranged products.

  27. Not Given says:

    60 calories is still way too much sugar.

    I like the Dr Pepper 10, even my husband will drink it, he wouldn’t drink the diet.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      That is what we drink. My husband likes it as well. It’s the only diet thing he will drink.

  28. Jawaka says:

    I don’t get these products. We have normal soda and we have diet sodas. Is there really a market for mid calorie sodas? I know I wouldn’t drink them. Pepsi Maxx and Coke Zero are just fine for me. The only exception that I’ve made recent;y has been for Dr Pepper 10 which really does taste better than Det Dr Pepper. However if it had 50 calories I still wouldn’t drink it.

    • DubbaEwwTeeEff says:

      I think you answered your own question – the appeal is that it’s something healthier than regular pop, but without tasting like ass. I’ve never found an artificial sweetener that I can actually stand for more than two sips, but if I could get enough sugar to mask or eliminate that nasty hyper-sweet aftertaste, I’d happily take the higher-calorie option.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      It appeals to me. Plain diet soda tastes pretty bad. Mid calorie adds just enough HFCS to cover up that no calorie sweetener taste. For those of us counting calories/countingWW points, saving 100 calories/2 Pts. is a big deal.

    • ash says:

      I think there is. Sometimes I like mixing half coke half diet to get the taste of Coke but with less calories.

  29. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    I’m holding out for Pepsi Mine, that comes with a little packet of calories to add (or not) to your preference.

  30. VashTS says:

    For those wanting REAL soda, on Amazon try The Switch or Fruit 66. Tastes great, has vitamins and real fruit juice. Not too sweet, not too sugary, perfect imo.

  31. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Why can’t a company just take a 2L bottle and fill half with regular soda and then fill the rest with diet. Half the calories, no sh*tty Tab-esque aftertaste, no recreating the wheel trying to create some next-gen soda drink.

    USE YOUR THINKIN’ CAPS PEOPLE!

  32. Midnight Harley says:

    Isn’t this that Japanese Pepsi?

  33. Kuri says:

    If it still tastes bad then I barely give a fuck.

  34. Boven says:

    So is the serving size for a half a can like it is for Dr Pepper Ten?

  35. eezy-peezy says:

    The only soft drink I have enjoyed in recent years was when they brought back the Pepsi made with real sugar. All others, I would rather drink water. Regular sodas are too sweet, diet sodas taste disgusting.

  36. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I am looking forward to it. I love low cal soda. DP 10 tastes far better than regular diet. Normally, I wouldn’t put crap like that in my body. I was drinking a cane sweetened store brand soda for a long time, but alas, I am trying to lose weight and am a soda addict. It’s my one vice. So, I decided to drink the 10 calorie crap on occasion so I don’t blow my Weight Watcher’s points.

  37. SamiJ says:

    Sometimes I mix regular pepsi into my diet pepsi to give it a little more taste. And, yes, I’d try the 60 cal version.

  38. Wolfbird says:

    Anyone else pissed that the two diet choices at soda fountains are always Diet Coke and Coke Zero? Like there’s really that much fucking difference between the two, that it’s inconceivable that consumers may want a flavor that isn’t cola for once?