PepsiCo said the change was down to consumer demand

PepsiCo said the change was down to consumer demand

PepsiCo is to remove aspartame from its Diet Pepsi range in the US, responding to consumer fears over the artificial sweetener.

The company said today that, from August, Diet Pepsi brands will contain a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium. The change covers Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi.

"Diet cola drinkers in the US told us they wanted aspartame-free Diet Pepsi and we’re delivering," said Seth Kaufman, PepsiCo North America Beverages' SVP for Pepsi and flavours. "We recognise that consumer demand is evolving and we’re confident that cola-lovers will enjoy the crisp, refreshing taste of this new product."

The company said the Diet Pepsi sweetener formulation was developed after extensive research and testing with US diet cola drinkers.

Diet CSDs have been hard hit in the US over the past two years, with Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group posting sales declines in the category. The companies have blamed fears over artificial sweeteners for the declines and recently introduced a number of naturally-sweetened CSDs such as Coca-Cola Life and Pepsi True.

The declines in diet sodas have largely been confined to the US.

On Wednesday, Coca-Cola's North America president, Sandy Douglas, said there is still work to be done on Diet Coke in the US despite a recent sales turnaround.

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola said today: "There are currently no plans to change the sweetener for Diet Coke. All of the beverages we offer and ingredients we use are safe."