PepsiCo said the new range was in response to consumer demand for choice

PepsiCo said the new range was in response to consumer demand for choice

PepsiCo is to relaunch Diet Pepsi with aspartame in the US a year after removing the artificial sweetener from the zero-calorie soda.

The company in September will roll out Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend, which is sweetened with aspartame and Ace-K. PepsiCo will continue to sell the aspartame-free Diet Pepsi as its main diet cola offering.

A PepsiCo spokesperson said yesterday: "Consumers want choice in diet colas, so we're refreshing our US lineup to provide three options that meet differing needs and taste preferences."

Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend will be available in 12-packs, two-litre bottles and 20oz bottles at retail outlets across the US.

Last August, PepsiCo replaced its aspartame Diet Pepsi with a new version that contained a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium. At the time, the company said consumers had called for an aspartame-free Diet Pepsi, and the move was seen as a response to health fears over the artificial sweetener.

However, sales suffered amid overall declining demand for diet sodas. Diet Pepsi's sales volume fell 6% last year and 11% at retail during the first quarter of this year, according to data from Beverage Digest cited by Bloomberg News.

The latest sweetener switch comes as PepsiCo overhauls its diet cola portfolio in the US. As well as the Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend launch, Pepsi Max will be re-introduced to US consumers as Pepsi Zero Sugar. The change - which is only in the US - is to more clearly communicate to consumers that it is a zero-calorie product. The brand's formula will remain the same.

PepsiCo is "future-proofing" its portfolio against health and wellness trends, according to its CEO