If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Pepsi’s learned that old saying the hard way, after watching Diet Pepsi sales plummet after PepsiCo removed aspartame from its beverage.
Aspartame is back in the mix, Pepsi announced Monday, returning to its original, and controversially, more popular diet Pepsi recipe.
They canned the artificial sweetener last year, executives noting many consumers were avoiding the diet version due to aspartame, and general health reasons. Soda sales across the board have fallen, with Diet Pepsi sales getting hit particularly hard.
Pepsi is adding “Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend” to its soda lineup this September (just in time for school!), but will continue production of its current, low-selling, aspartame-free version.
Pepsi MAX, another soda containing aspartame, will be rebranded to Pepsi Zero Sugar to push the absence of calories.
“PepsiCo’s revised diet cola strategy is intended to serve older consumers who are used to the previous formula, younger consumers who want to avoid aspartame, and still others who don’t care but want bolder diet colas with more functional attributes,” wrote Duane Stanford in Beverage Digest, who broke the news.