The companies' 'mid-calorie' concepts will provide a sweet tasting drink that differs from both conventional cola, and diet cola. The drinks will have a stronger flavour but will have only a fraction of the calories of the original drinks.
Although the drinks are not strictly speaking functional food, they represent a growing multinational company trend. Companies are becoming more health conscious to accommodate consumers needs.
Research indicates that some popular colas produced by these companies have as many as 10 tea spoons of sugar and diet cola's or sugar free colas are less popular on the market place.
In recent years, functional foods (products that have health benefits for consumers) have become more popular in the drinks market. The idea of combining health with drink products is not a new one. Industry observers claim that the market for functional foods is increasing rapidly. Datamoniter estimates that the UK market for functional foods, for example, has increased from £429 million in 2002 compared to £324 million in 1997.
Other beverage companies may join Coke and Pepsi in looking into a healthier alternative to their soft drinks. Cadbury Schweppes for example, last month hinted that it was considering a 'mid-calorie' alternative to its drink Dr. Pepper.
It is thought that production of these drinks are still a long way off. Both companies have said that it could be months before a decision is made.