PepsiCo released Pepsi Next in the US last year

PepsiCo released Pepsi Next in the US last year

PepsiCo has released a stevia-sweetened Pepsi Next in Australia, the first time the company has used the natural sweetener in the reduced-sugar brand.

The new drink has 30% less sugar than regular Pepsi, according to PepsiCo Australia, which has conducted sampling programmes for Pepsi Next in major Australian cities this week. Pepsi Next was launched last year in the US, where it is sweetened with acesulfame potassium, aspartame, sucralose, and high-fructose corn syrup, a PepsiCo spokesperson said yesterday (27 September).

Soft drinks companies have recently tested a range of reduced-sugar beverages in a bid to target adult consumers who do not like the taste of zero-calorie brands.

In May, PepsiCo's Japanese unit launched Pepsi Black, which contains 50% less sugar than regular Pepsi and is enhanced with lemon flavour. In the same month, The Coca-Cola Co announced it was testing mid-calorie versions of Sprite and Fanta.