Diet soda news — Pepsi dropping aspartame

Diet soda is the topic of much disparagement among the food police these days. I tend to think it’s all overblown, but diet soda consumption has been dropping because of the negative marks its getting. And so big soda companies are trying to figure out a way to revive sales of what they see as their healthier offering.

Diet pepsi is removing aspartame and using two other sweeteners instead. Will it help alleviate consumer concerns?
Diet Pepsi is removing aspartame and using two other sweeteners instead. Will the change help alleviate consumer concerns? Doubtful.

Pepsi is responding to concerns by taking the sweetener aspartame out of diet soda sold in stores. You can still get the aspartame variety online apparently. But the bulk of Diet Pepsi starting in August will contain the sweetener sucralose and a second, acesulfame potassium, known as ace K (K is the symbol for potassium) is the soda trade.

Pepsi says consumers told it aspartame was the main reason they weren’t buying diet soda. Will the switch help?

Ace K has its own detractors who say it contains a known carcinogen. Sucralose, sold as Splenda, also has detractors. Indeed every sweetener soda makers create to replace sugar has some group opposed to it. And sugar, of course, is now being painted as a major health boogeyman.

Stevia-sweetened sodas are out there, I’ve written about two of them. Each has a bit of an after-taste because of the stevia, in my opinion. But stevia is getting more positive reviews as a sweetener at the moment because it’s perceived as natural. It too has its detractors, though, who say what’s being used of the Stevia plant for sweetening is hardly natural.

Where does that leave us? Give up all sweet drinks and just drink water as someone once suggested to me? How boring is that.

I’ve opted to cut down on diet soda consumption to twice a week from what had been a daily habit for me. My weekly consumption of diet soda has gone from 106 ounces a day, or 742 ounces a week, to about 140 ounces a week. Not eating out as much has helped and often when I am eating out now, I opt for water or tea instead.


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