Cane Sugar Pepsi "Raw" Launches In The UK Only

We know that a lot of you get all excited over Mexican/Kosher Coca-Cola (no corn syrup), but what about you folks who prefer Pepsi? You’ll have to go to the UK, where Pepsi is launching “Pepsi Raw”—a corn syrup free, “all natural” version of the soda.

Traditionally, Pepsi contains fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial colourings, phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid and natural flavours.

In comparison, Pepsi Raw has only natural ingredients including apple extract, plain caramel colouring, coffee leaf, tantaric acid from grapes, gum arabic from acacia trees, cane sugar and sparkling water.

It is paler in colour and less fizzy than other cola brands.

Sounds nice, but we’d be happy with cane sugar Coca-Cola. Hint. Hint.

Pepsi launch new ‘healthy’ drink [Metro via BuzzFeed]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Bladefist says:

    Dang we need that. I always feel nervous when you need a chemistry degree to read our drink labels.

  2. boandmichele says:

    i drank a boylan’s cane soda the other day, and im hooked. it tastes totally different. why cant we get stuff like this??

  3. mopar_man says:

    I prefer Pepsi over Coke and I’d like to get that Raw here. I can’t even find the Kosher Coke when it’s available in my area. I’m a big fan of Jones Sodas though. That’s tasty stuff.

  4. hwyengr says:

    Doesn’t the pop in Europe have cane sugar anyway?

  5. timmus says:

    Huzzah for the UK. But I doubt this will be coming to the U.S. anytime soon. The Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, and Atria cabal really like their subsidized corn and will certainly take a dim view of any idea of bringing in cheap sugar imports for mass market products.

  6. qitaana says:

    Cane sugar Coke at my local Costco ftw!

  7. Is there anyone over 25 who actually thinks Pepsi is the better product. Too sweet as is.

    PS- everyone I know who had ever had significant extra weight has had a major sugar soda/sweetened tea habit. I include myself. If I understood that my late 20’s and early 30’s would be a struggle with weight, I would not have had all that coke in my teens and twenties. Oh well.

  8. radio1 says:

    “Traditionally” for two-thirds of Pepsi life they used cane sugar. Major beverage makers have only been using HFCS since the mid 70’s.

    I had the cane sugar Coca-Cola left over from a family friend’s high holidays and, oh man!

    It tasted like my childhood.

  9. MDSasquatch says:

    Funny thing is, I spent some time in the middle of the Saudi Arabian Desert in a previous life and the Pepsi was almost undrinkable. Coke on the other hand was very similar to what I came to expect from the US version.

    Tangent alert – We had a Burger King in the middle of the desert ( it was set up in a portable trailer ) and it was without question, the best fast food I ever ate! Go figure

  10. JPropaganda says:

    It’s not an issue of being Kosher, it’s about “Kosher for Passover” which is the time of year many practicing jews don’t eat leavened bread products, rice, or corn.

    Both Coke and Pepsi are kosher year-round

  11. MercuryPDX says:

    @PotKettleBlack: I’ve found the delivery method makes a huge difference. I only like the way Pepsi tastes coming out of a plastic bottle (Coke wins in fountains, cans, and glass bottles).

    In any event, I have zero brand loyalty when it comes to soda, and buy whatever is on sale.

  12. Stev D says:

    Slippery slope people. Once Britan gets the sugar, it isn’t long before they get the power and the women.

  13. ClayS says:


    All Coke I’ve ever seen is kosher. The Coke that uses cane sugar instead of corn syrup is kosher for Passover. So you are likely to see that in stores in April.

  14. Franklin Comes Alive! says:


    Word, they always seem to have Mexican Coke at our local Costcos.

  15. MDSasquatch says:

    they would gladly give up the aforementioned power and women for a few good dentist, I am sure.

    For now, we have a firm hold on our vices!

  16. John Whorfin says:

    I’ve seen smaller stores carry these. Basically, mexican food stores. One in Pittsburgh’s strip disctrict.

    If we can get these certain times of the year. Let’s press for a national rollout!

  17. Lars says:

    Royal Crown is clearly the only way to go. Bah to you Pepsi and your fancy tricks.

  18. DMDDallas says:

    While real sugar tastes better than HFCS, its only marginally better for you. Ingesting lots of sugar is still bad for you.

  19. Juliekins says:

    @PotKettleBlack: I’m 30 and Pepsi has always been my favorite cola. I don’t hate Coke, but given the choice I’ll reach for Pepsi every time. I’m intrigued by Pepsi Raw, but I think calling it “healthy” is a stretch.

    “Every time” being a lot less often than it used to be. I lost 25 pounds 4 years ago and I attribute much of that loss (as well as maintaining said loss) to giving up sugared soda.

    These days I’m a Diet Pepsi Max junkie. I like Coke Zero pretty well, though. Diet Coke is gross, and regular Diet Pepsi is a crime against humanity. Oddly enough, however, I broke my soda addiction not by switching to diet sodas but by switching to lightly flavored fizzy mineral water like La Croix. I’m the only person I know who did it that way, though.

  20. markrubi says:

    I have been getting Dr Pepper made with Imperial Cane Sugar at one Wal-mart super center. I can’t stand the HFCS crap. All soda/pop should be made with sugar just like it used to. HFCS is cheap and super sweet that is why it’s used. This DR Pepper costs 1.96 a six pack. Kind of expensive but worth it.

  21. Bladefist says:

    Gaining weight is the least of your worries. Try Diabetes.

  22. punkrawka says:

    @Stev D: You win.

  23. Hamm Beerger says:

    @DMDDallas: Killjoy.

    @boandmichele: You actually liked that crap? I thought it tasted like carbonation, and pretty much that was it.

    I’ve never been impressed with Mexican Coke, either. Didn’t seem to taste any different to me. I do like the old school glass bottle, tho.

  24. Dervish says:

    As DMDDallas said, this isn’t any healthier for you than HFCS “non-natural” soda and it’s misleading of them to imply otherwise.

    But man, does sugar taste better! I wish sugar coke was widely available here.

  25. IssaGoodDay says:

    High Fructose Corn Syrup = largely responsible for obesity in America. Just read some of the articles about artificial vs. natural sweeteners, and talk to ANY Dr. ANYWHERE about how good HFCS is for you. It’s horrible.


  26. laserjobs says:

    HFCS sucks!!! Ask anyone. Bring back the real sugar.

  27. warf0x0r says:

    @sourc3: $$$

    Why make $.50 a can when you can make $.55

  28. shadow735 says:

    Gimme sum of that with a touch o’ the Captain!!!

  29. shadow735 says:

    @sourc3: Because all the good stuff comes out in Europe, before it hits the USA it has to go thru trial, pass tests, get a special permit. Be trialed for a few years then you have to get a license in order to market it and sell it.

  30. econobiker says:

    Wow, upselling the original way they used to make colas. What an idea.

  31. lpranal says:

    Things like this make me hate living in the US. I hate fat, greedy, executives and them pushing their fattening, artificial swill on us.

    people, there is only one reason why we cant get this here:

    It’s too fucking PROFITABLE to NOT sell HFCS products. The government subsidizes it. They have not nearly enough balls to pull the HFCS rug from underneath just about EVERY major food company that sells these products and whose business models rely on the cash cow that is government subsidized corn sweeteners.

  32. NotATool says:

    Real sugar tastes better than HFCS and may in fact be not as bad for you. But do people honestly believe that if HFCS were removed from soft drinks and sugar was put back in its place, this would have any effect on the obesity problem in the U.S.?

    I think it’s more of supersize problem. Portions are simply out of control. 30 years ago, you got Coke in a bottle, 16oz. You got 2 or 3 servings from the one bottle! Then 12oz cans became popular. One serving became 12 oz. Then the 20oz bottle (one serving is now 20 oz). Then the 24 oz bottle. Supersize drinks at your favorite fast food place, with REFILLS.

    HFCS or sugar, doesn’t matter — if you’re drinking mega-quantities of high-calorie soft drinks, you’re going to get fat. And get diabetes, etc.

    I think marketing a real sugar soft drink as “all natural” implies “healthy” which is just not a label that should go on a soft drink.

  33. burgundyyears says:

    @sourc3: Sugar makes people just as fat as HFCS. PERIOD.

  34. Beerad says:

    @NotATool: QFT! However, while it’s a questionable marketing ploy to bill it as “all natural” I think the “healthiness” veneer of that term has worn off now and it’s not directly misleading…

    I’m leaning towards HFCS as generally bad (no, I don’t wear a tinfoil hat) and I can’t stand how regular (that is, non-diet) soda tastes these days, so I’d love to see sugared sodas return to our store shelves. (Hooray for Jones, Boylan’s, etc.!) When I was a kid, soda would only be a special treat – for Saturday family movie night with a VHS rental, holidays, etc. That mentality, if people practiced it today, would probably go far towards helping America’s obesity problem, as opposed to folks sucking down a 2-liter of Mountain Dew every day.

  35. Sherryness says:

    The people who think that HFCS is a large contributor to obesity generally think that way because they believe that HFCS increases hunger and inhibits satiety. Therefore they (we) feel that saturating our diets with HFCS is causting this desire for larger portions and thusly increasing our waistlines. I found HFCS in my Pure Vanilla Extract and in the roasted, sliced chicken breast I bought from the store (I think it was from Butterball or Louis Rich). Inexcusable.

  36. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Where’d you drink it at if not over here?

  37. Buran says:

    @burgundyyears: There’s stuff in HFCS that is processed differently by the body. The “obesity epidemic” started about when HFCS started showing up in almost everything.

  38. Dervish says:

    @Buran: Like what? Sucrose breaks down into half glucose and half fructose. HFCS commonly used in foods is very near the same ratio.

  39. spoork says:

    @markrubi: Agreed. Good luck finding it outside of Texas though.

  40. theron says:

    Whole Foods has reformulated their store brand sodas with cane sugar. They have a cola which is quite nice.

    As the use of corn in alternative materials and energies, the cost of HFCS will increase to the point where it offers no business advantage over cane sugar. We may be seeing the start of a trend here, and it is a welcome one to me.

  41. markrubi says:


    I am getting this DR Pepper in El Reno, OK. It’s bottled in TX.

  42. MarvinMar says:

    Could this have anything to do with the curent need to divert Corn over to the Ethanol plants?
    Will HFCS sodas go up in price and corn gets more expensive?

  43. rdldr1 says:

    We need that in the US! I’d spend more on a cola with real sugar, even if it needs to be refrigerated. Coke that comes in bottles from Mexico is made with sugar, and is superior to its US counterparts.

  44. youwantedahero says:

    @markrubi: word, i work at lucky star! so i think i might be making a detour to that wal-mart since even though i live in the city, it’s not so far out of my way from work! how sad that i’m that excited…

  45. WhirlyBird says:

    @PotKettleBlack: 45 years old, and I still can’t stand Coke. Every time I see a Coke commercial, I laugh, and point out to my teenage son (who also drinks Pepsi) that Coke has all these cool CGI adverts, and Coke-branded products, because they *have* to advertise, just to get people to buy it. Pepsi doesn’t have to advertise – they just taste better. That’s also why so many places, like theatres, restaurants and auditoriums, have exclusive contracts with Coke – if you give people a choice, they’ll buy Pepsi.

  46. rbb says:

    This quote from the article caught my eye: “Cutting the amount of sugar in the drink could also help prevent damage to teeth.”

    Ummm… Since when is anyone in Britain concerned about taking care of their teeth?!?!?!

  47. WhirlyBird says:

    @burgundyyears: Not, it doesn’t. PERIOD!!!!! (My exclamation points trump your caps.)

  48. lpranal says:

    @MarvinMar: I think ethanol is more of a “look at what we’re doing to help the environment” than an actual solution to anything. With the current methods of production, it has to be subsidized heavily just to get anyone to make the stuff. By the time production methods drive the costs down I think there will be much better alternatives.

    @HFCS lovers – look up the glycemic index of pure table sugar and regular HFCS sweetened soda. Not the same. The argument that they have the same effect since sucrose breaks down into the same thing is like saying a cheeseburger that has been chewed up and regurgitated is just as good as a normal one. They’re made out of the same stuff, but the body’s reaction to the pre-processed one is gonna be way different.

  49. says:

    @rbb: LOL!

    another question: “is said to be made from natural ingredients and contains no artificial preservatives, colours, flavourings or sweeteners”

    ….sooooo why is it still dark brown?

  50. Bye says:

    I’ve bought a few cases of Mexi-coke at our Costco, but they haven’t had any the past several times we’ve gone unfortunately.

    While in SF for the holidays, I went to my favorite burrito place and ordered a Coke. La botella tuvo’ palabras mexicanas and looked just like the ones I’m accustomed to getting, except the U.S. approved Nutritional Content info tag that had been slapped on it listed as the sweetener: Sugar AND/OR High Fructose Corn Syrup.

    One swig and I could confidently state that it was not sugar.

    Are there different Mexican Coke distributors now? Read your labels, folks…

  51. Mr. Guy says:

    I wonder how Pepsi Raw will sell against Coca-Cola Smackdown!

  52. Dervish says:

    @lpranal: Can you show me a study that supports your claim? Most of the sucrose in soda is broken down into its component sugars anyway, since the solution is so acidic. Half glucose/fructose is half glucose/fructose, whether it’s “pre-processed” (and sucrose is heavily pre-processed) or not.

  53. DXDawg says:


    So do exactly what Pepsi is doing and selling an upmarket, higher-priced version of the drink using cane sugar. Maintain your profit margains and give consumers a choice. I for one would pay more for a sugar-based Coke and I’d be willing to bet I’m NOT a distinct minority.

  54. fizzyg says:

    If you’re near the n. GA area you can find Red Rock cola in some of the grocery stores. It’s local & made with cane sugar and pretty good for an occasional treat.

  55. lpranal says:

    @DXDawg: I wish they would, too. And I liked coke black, i thought it might actually do well. I think target still has a few bottles laying around.

    @Dervish: Fine, you can have my chewed up cheeseburger. You could have just asked nicely.

    P.s. if you’re not interested enough to do the invetigating yourself, nothing I can argue or post here is going to change your mind. Many, many people have done a far better job at proving the downsides to using HFCS than I could ever hope to.

  56. redhelix says:

    @WhirlyBird: Dude. Pepsi runs TV ads all the time.

    And personally, I prefer Coke over Pepsi, though Jones Green Apple trumps them both.

  57. theblackdog says:

    One of my friends would love it as she cannot have corn syrup due to religious restrictions.

    I know I would because I remember Mexican pepsi tasting much better anyway.

  58. Dervish says:

    @lpranal: I have done my own research – a lot of it. I just asked because I thought maybe you had done some of your own, because the only studies I’ve seen that have decried HFCS either haven’t had a control, or have been run against fructose controls, NOT sucrose – meaning they’re not comparing apples to apples.

    I thought maybe you had come across something different, and I didn’t want to discount your position if you had solid evidence to back it up.

  59. DrGirlfriend says:

    Why does this stuff always launch outside of the US first?!

  60. mschlock says:

    Is it caffeine-free? I’m wishin’ and hopin’ for caffeine-free to be the next big “healthy” fad, because unlike the Atkins and Splenda things, it would actually benefit me a whole lot. I gave up caffeine three years ago and haven’t missed it except when I go to a restaurant and want something other than Sprite.

    (I’ve been ordering caffeine-free NON-diet Dr. Pepper from Old Doc’s Soda Shop for a year — they don’t bottle it in California. Unfortunately they don’t make caffeine-free cane sugar Dr. Pepper.)

  61. dandd says:

    Tried Mexican coke (Cane sugar) and I really didn’t notice that much difference from HFCS Coke at all. For all the hype, I was really let down.

  62. boandmichele says:

    yeah, i liked that crap a lot. tasted a lot like a coke icee, but not flat. (does everyone have icee’s?)

  63. Buran says:
  64. deleterious says:

    @MercuryPDX:Thank you for making me feel normal. Fountain Pepsi is awful but bottled Pepsi is great!

  65. markrubi says:

    Save some for me. I drive from weatherford to get my fix.

  66. volve says:

    Last time I checked, Jones Soda was FULL of High Fructose Corn Syrup – don’t be fooled by their peachy image and consumer-submitted label photos. :/

    I am hooked on Boylan’s All natural Cola (they have 2 Colas, both with only sugar, but the all natural one has no sodium either. So tasty.) I’m also a big fan of Grown-Up-Soda’s Dry Cola. Mmmm…

  67. Islandkiwi says:

    I’m no scientist, but if I have the choice I’ll pick cane sugar over HFCS any day of the week.

    And I will say this: soda made with cane sugar tastes lighter, less syrupy…and somehow more satisfying. I am less likely to drink a soda with cane sugar, whereas the HFCS stuff you just keep drinking.

    Why this is, I don’t know. Scientists might.

  68. Claystil says:

    There’s mexican bodega on broadway in williamsburg, brooklyn that regularly stocks both mexican coke and mexican pepsi made with cane sugar. it’s the only mexican bodega on that stretch of broadway as far as i know. should be easy enough for anyone to find.

  69. Dervish says:

    @Buran: Many of the points made in that article are relevant only to fructose. You get nearly the same amount of fructose from sucrose as you do from HFCS. For example:

    “Both sucrose and dextrose are broken down in our body before they ever make it to our liver, however fructose does not breakdown and reaches the liver “almost completely intact”. “

    But you also create fructose when you break down sucrose – this isn’t exclusive to HFCS.

    “A study was actually done on golden hamsters (their metabolism is very close to ours) in the year 2000 in which they were fed diets with high levels of HFCS. It took only weeks until they had high triglyceride levels as well as insulin resistance.”

    Did they try the same thing with sucrose? If not, you can’t definitively say that the HFCS was causing high tryglyceride levels.

    I take my stance because of scientific studies such as Forshee et al.’s “A critical examination of the evidence relating high fructose corn syrup and weight gain”, in which they find that HFCS is no worse from an obesity standpoint than sucrose. Or, take Monsivais et al.’s “Sugars and satiety: does the type of sweetener make a difference?”. They found that it didn’t.

    Sorry for the long comment, but the scientific literature out there now finds virtually no evidence to suggest that HFCS is any worse than sugar. If you still want to avoid it in your food, more power to you. Oppose it for the environmental impact, or the corn subsidy garbage, or because it doesn’t taste as good in soda, but it frustrates me that people spout this stuff as the gospel truth when it’s entirely refuted by science.

  70. snidelywhiplash says:

    I just wish they’d go back to glass bottles. Yeah, they’re heavier, and more dangerous than plastic (never cut myself on a broken plastic soda bottle), but damn, soda tastes so much better out of a glass bottle. And it stays colder longer.

    I still buy Mexican Coke for July 4th get-togethers. It just seems right.

  71. Aldoman says:

    They’re releasing this one also in Mexico starting this month. “All Natural” Pepsi

  72. SpaceCowgirl01 says:

    @volve: Um… the bottle of Jones sitting besides me says it’s made with pure cane sugar…and love.

    Also, Pepsi: HFSC-free Mt. Dew!!?!? Pleeeeeeease.

  73. Jcakes says:

    Jarritos all the way.

  74. dantsea says:

    @superjanna: Do you have any idea how much HFCS love contains? Yikes!

  75. olegna says:

    Unless things have changed in recent years Coca-Cola Femsa (the company that produces and distributes most coke products in Latin America) stopped using cane sugar in the late 90s.

    The decision was economic: HFCS is way cheaper than cane sugar. In fact, the sugar/HFCS debate is a huge one in the NAFTA circles: US manufacturers (I think DeKalb and ADM) were given corporate welfare to open HFCS factories in Mexico to complete directly with cane workers (Veracruz is a major cane-producing region in Mexico).

    Cane worker I interviewed were getting like $2-per-worker for each ton of cane cut in take-home pay.

    Unless things have changed: I think the Coca Cola in Mexico uses HFCS, expect around Easter or during Lent o something — some Catholic thing, but I can’t recall why.

  76. tape says:

    Boylan’s sodas are so excellently good. The Cane Cola has so much more flavor going on than any other cola I’ve ever had.

  77. dalejo says:

    I can’t wait until this comes in a diet version!

    oh wait…

  78. cheesebubble says:

    Born ‘n’ raised on coca-cola. Oh, dark mother, I suckle at your teat!

  79. Anonymous says:

    HFCS is an American Nightmare as it not made any were else in the world and is banned in canada and only rarely in mexicodue to exports there. this is due to two things The sugar tarifs which we need to change to substies as tariifs have inflated sugar prices here to 2 to 3 times the word market and the corn substies which make corn 1/2 it real price
    however be wary of invert sugar cristaline frutose as both have free frutose which is the evil in HFCS
    in cane sugar sucrose and frutose are bound together thus similar to salt which is safe in resonable quanitys and is made up of clorine and sodium which is split would kill us
    so sadly jones is not that good for us but I going to pressure pepsi to bring raw here

  80. FabronNimrit/Maya says:

    “Is there anyone over 25 who actually thinks Pepsi is the better product.[?]”

    Yes; most people in fact.

    They will say coke if you ask them but if you do a double blind test and ask them which they prefer, over half prefer pepsi.

    Wine testing and alternative medicine(medicine that either has not been proven to work or has been proven not to work) share the same problem; you can’t really trust people without double blind studies.

  81. FabronNimrit/Maya says:

    “There’s stuff in HFCS that is processed differently by the body.”

    No, there isn’t. HFCS is either 42% fructose, 58 % glucose(HFCS-42) or 55% fructose and 45% glucose(HFCS-55).

    When you eat cane sugar the sucrose is very rapidly hydrolyzed to an equal mixture of glucose and fructose(which would be known as HFCS-50 if it was made from corn).