With Americans increasingly skeptical of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners alike, what's a soda company to do? Well, Pepsi and Coke both want to sell us on new "natural" drinks made with sugar stevia, instead. Don't you feel better about those liquid calories?
The L.A Times reports that Pepsi is launching "Pepsi True," which comes in a bright green can so you'll feel like you're consuming a nice macrobiotic smoothie or something. Initially it'll be be sold via Amazon exclusively, as a way to test the market. As the Wall Street Journal notes, the announcement comes hard on the heels of the American introduction of "Coca-Cola Life," a competing sugar-and-stevia offering.
It's pretty easy to see why: An industry analyst told the L.A. Times that soda sales have slid 22 percent since 1998. Are you happy now, Mike Bloomberg? Hence the super-subtle "healthy" branding—dueling green cans, names like "True" and "Life." It's basically lembas bread, they swear. (Spoiler: Not really.)
The only problem is that many customers seem to think that stevia tastes like bitter garbage. It's almost like beverages made largely of sugar water should be an occasional treat rather than a replacement for precious, life-giving water!
Images via Pepsi