Friday, August 28, 2015

The New Diet Pepsi – No Thanks To Its “New Coke” Brain Cramp

The Pepsi company has just removed the artificial sweetener aspartame from its Diet Pepsi product and replaced it with something called sucralose.  It may have made other changes as well.  Apparently Diet Pepsi sales have been down, and the company has been worried about some old rat study wherein rodents fed aspartame by the pound for the rat-equivalent of 100 years showed some altered biochemical marker, or something.  Or maybe it was some other study, but those reports have been around for a long time and so far nothing has been proven, and other soft drink makers are still using aspartame.  Nevertheless, the Pepsi brain trust studied the New Coke fiasco and thought … hey, we can do that too!  Look at all the publicity Coke got!  

I’ve been a Diet Pepsi drinker for a long time.  The new product has lost the crisp, fresh edge to the taste, leaves a modestly unpleasant after-taste, and is noticeably less sweet.  I've heard Pepsi says focus groups went wild over this new stuff, but I don’t believe that for a moment.  It’s not for me.  Moreover, now in restaurants I can’t just order a diet cola and take whatever brand comes; I now must ask for my drink by name, as in “Diet Coke, but only Diet Coke, please.”  Or maybe I'll switch to bourbon and then I won't care what brand arrives at my table.  One more thing to complicate each passing day.   

As an aside, Pepsi’s CEO is Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, a woman born and raised outside of the United States.  She got briefly into some hot water some years ago with an intemperate anti-American comment, an incident ignored by the liberal media, as she is a foreign-born woman of color, and thus missing from her Wikipedia page.  The media undoubtedly agreed with her anyway.  I thought I would revisit the incident but don’t want to spend the time to dig deeper to find a web site that hasn’t been Sovietized.    

Well, maybe it’s time to cut back some on soft drinks anyway, and diet Coke is all right.  And that Diet Dr. Pepper is pretty good, but its manufacturer wants to keep each can’s age a secret and so, unlike Coke or Pepsi, doesn’t date it, making a purchase a bit risky at anyplace other than a high volume supermarket.  As always, buyer beware.   

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