On Friday January 13th, PepsiCo announced that it has reformulated Pepsi Zero Sugar to reduce caffeine, remove ginseng and tweak the sweetener system, although it still uses aspartame and acesulfame Potassium (ace K) as its core high intensity sweeteners.
According to the company, the new Pepsi Zero Sugar recipe uses a new sweetener system to land a bolder taste profile than the previous Pepsi Zero Sugar varietal. Pepsi has been trying to identify consumer trends and preferences, and working to create flavor profiles that meet consumers’ ever-evolving needs.
Our R&D team leveraged the best new beverage technology to upgrade our Pepsi Zero Sugar product.Todd Kaplan, Chief Marketing Officer Pepsi
The company is determined to make its new formula better known and has launched an enticing marketing campaign. PepsiCo is giving consumers the opportunity to redeem up to 10 million free Pepsi Zero Sugars starting during the NFL Playoffs through the Super Bowl.
CNN reported that users on Reddit, who discovered the new formula a few weeks ago, said the new formula tastes “way sweeter” and no longer has a “weird after taste” compared to the previous formula.
“At Pepsi, we put our consumers at the forefront of everything we do,” said Todd Kaplan, Chief Marketing Officer. ”Our R&D team leveraged the best new beverage technology to upgrade our Pepsi Zero Sugar product to give fans the best tasting cola in the zero-sugar category. The product is the best zero sugar cola we’ve ever had. We’re so confident in its taste, that we are making up to 10 million free Pepsi Zero Sugars available to consumers so that people can try it for themselves.”
Though Pepsi has put a lot of effort into developing a strategy to push its Zero Sugar beverage, Coke Zero seems to be winning the battle so far. Pepsi’s Zero has captured less than 1% of overall soda sales. Coke’s has consistently grown its market share over the past five years to nearly 4%.
While the new Pepsi Zero Sugar formula rolls out across the United States, the brand is preparing a suite of consumer-facing marketing activations as the brand seeks to prioritize the zero-sugar category across in-store and media marketing channels.
The company also announced the launch of Starry, a lemon lime flavored soda that is meant to replace its Sierra Mist product. The launch is seen by analysts as an effort to better compete against Coke-owned Sprite. Starry in Regular and Zero Sugar versions is now available at US retailers and foodservice outlets nationwide.