Americans Losing Taste For Artificial Sweeteners, Pepsi Retakes #2 Sales Spot

Recently released data about the beverage industry tells us some interesting things. Plain old high fructose corn syrup-laden Coke is the top-selling soda in the United States, but its calorie-free cousin has to give up its silver medal: Regular Pepsi is now the #2 seller out of all fizzy non-alcoholic drinks, following an overall trend against diet sodas.

The beverage industry is trying to disprove health concerns that consumers have about calorie-free sweeteners, funding research assuring the public that everything is cool and that the drinks can even help with weight loss. Consumers aren’t buying the evidence, though, and are buying less diet soda than they used to. Consumers are either turning to other types of beverages or sugar-laden soda. When they switch to soda, they drink less of it in general.

The problem could be with NutraSweet, which is why beverage companies are so desperate to find a better sweetener for diet drinks, or to shave a few calories off regular ones.

The news is good for makers of energy drinks and bottled water, though: sales of those products are up overall. Wise soda-makers will direct more of their resources to marketing their products in those categories.

Both Coke and Pepsi are pushing mini-cans on soda fans as well, trying to boost revenue per-ounce while pretending to care about consumers’ health.

Diet Coke Loses Position as No. 2 Soda in U.S. to Pepsi-Cola [Wall Street Journal]
Diet sodas fall in US; Pepsi takes back No. 2 spot [AP]