Cola drinkers in Wisconsin and Iowa have apparently given the thumbs up to Pepsi Next, the “mid-calorie” drink being test-marketed in the two states. PepsiCo plans to go national with the 60-calorie soft drink next spring.
A 12-ounce can of Pepsi Next has 60 calories, compared to 150 calories in a standard can of Pepsi. Unlike traditional diet sodas, Pepsi Next contains sugar (well, high-fructose corn syrup), as well as a blend of the artificial sweeteners aspartame, Acesulfame K and sucralose.
PepsiCo has been quiet about plans for the launch. However, in an interview last month, a spokesperson for the company told FoodNavigator-USA that the anecdotal feedback from Wisconsin and Iowa was “encouraging.” Pepsi Next, according to the spokesperson, was “created for consumers who seek the rich taste of full-calorie cola” without the “flavor profile of a zero-calorie cola.”
The spokesperson said that unlike previous mid-calorie efforts Pepsi Edge and Pepsi XL, Pepsi Next has “the right mix of cola flavor notes and a combination of four sweeteners to more closely mimic the taste curve of a full-sugar soda on your tongue.”
PepsiCo to launch mid-calorie soda nationally [Associated Press]
Pepsi mulls broader rollout for Pepsi NEXT in Q1 2012 [FoodNavigator-USA]