Pepsi NEXT has been launched in Australia, but intriguingly the drink has been formulated with stevia for this market to achieve a 30% sugar reduction, rather than the 60% effected with other sweeteners in the US.
The launch is significant, because it marks the first time that either PepsiCo (or keen rival Coca-Cola) have used zero calorie sweetener stevia with a front line cola brand.
Due to the time differences involved, BeverageDaily.com was unable to contact PepsiCo Australia before we went to press, but the Pepsi Australia Facebook page bears witness to the new launch.
"Want to be one of the first to try what's NEXT?" it asks fans, while displaying a poster (pictured right) revealing the 30% stevia content.
Discussing Pepsi NEXT's initial sales success in the States following its February 27 launch, Diana Cowland, health and wellness analyst at Euromonitor International told BeverageDaily.com in early August:
"As Pepsi NEXT is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame K, no doubt manufacturers would see some success if they used stevia to replace this cocktail of high-intensity sweeteners.”