Pepsi is hoping to gain some solid ground by attempting to market towards people who want to move away from sugary drink towards water or lower calorie beverages. They are also hoping to revive themselves against Coke in the cola war. The Associated Press reported on how Pepsi isn’t the only cola company to try this method and improve sales. “Pepsi Next isn’t the first drink to try to hit the sweet spot between diet and regular cola. Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS) rolled out its mid calorie Dr Pepper Ten, which has 10 calories. The company said the drink, which has sugar unlike its diet soda, helped boost its fourth-quarter sales.”
Trying to create a low calorie soda that taste good and something consumers want to buy isn’t easy. Pepsi and Coke both rolled out their own in 2004 and had them off the shelves by 2006 because sales weren’t as good as they wanted. Coke (NASDAQ:COKE) had their “C2” cola and Pepsi rolled out their “Pepsi Edge” both of which had half as many calories as a regular can of soda.
John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest said, “The problem was that consumers either wanted regular soda or a diet drink with zero calories, not something in between.”
Soda drinkers want something that tastes like the regular cola, but want half as many empty calories. Pepsi Next is made with a mix of three artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup.
Melisa Tezanos, a PepsiCo, Inc (NYSE:PEP) spokeswoman, said the company developed Pepsi Next by researching the “taste curve” that people want to experience when drinking regular soda. She compared that to how someone might taste a drink of wine, in that moment the beverage touches the tongue to the aftertaste it leaves. “We wanted to develop a taste curve that gives the full flavor of regular Pepsi,” Tezanos said.
The problem is, if you want to drink a sugary drink, you probably don’t care about trying to be healthy. Even if you are trying to be healthy and have a diet soda, even a few calories in that cola might be too many. It’s still fun to try out new drinks to see what all the hype is and if it tastes like the real Pepsi like they say Pepsi Next is supposed to.