Features Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 05:30
Pepsico, the makers of Pepsi products, announced last week, that it would remove the controversial artificial sweetener 'aspartame' from all its diet sodas sold in the US and replace it with sucralose. The company's decision came after Diet Pesi's sales dropped by 5% in America last year. Seth Kaufman, vice-president of Pepsi has been quoted by the BBC: "Aspartame is the number one reason consumers are dropping diet soda." Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that’s approximately 150 times sweeter than sugar and is the most consumed artificial sweetener in the United States. What is interesting is that Pepsico's decision to do away with aspartame is based only on consumer input and not on any scientific data. Though there is no verified scientific evidence yet, aspartame has been seen in a negative light for a while now which may have resulted in a dip in Pepsi's sales of diet sodas.  A lot of videos circulated on the internet and information in e-mails make claims about how aspartame has a variety of side affects and can cause cancer and tumours.  However, when TNM contacted Pepsico and asked why it dropped the substance only in the US and not in India as well, they replied saying that they "aimed to meet evolving consumer demands and relevant local tastes" The PepsiCo spokesperson also added that "Pepsi uses a variety of approved sweetener options to create great-tasting colas, including aspartame, which remains an important sweetener in some Pepsi beverages around the world, including Diet Pepsi in India" In India, urban cities are witnessing a rise in the trend of picking items with “Zero sugar” or “Zero calories” and putting it in their shopping carts with the idea that it is healthier than the regular version of the same product. Scientific proof or not, as far as Pepsi goes, what is good for the US does not seem to be good for India.
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