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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    New Brunswick, NJ

    Default Diet Pepsi w/ aspartame returns, Pepsi Max rebranding

    Just read that Diet Pepsi with aspartame is being re-introduced. However, it will not replace the current Splenda-sweetened version - instead it will be sold as a separate product called "Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend". The packaging will feature the light blue color and "Diet Pepsi" fonts from the early 2000s, but the Pepsi globe will still be the modern "smiley" style. Also, the usage of "blend" makes me think it will probably be the Aspartame/Ace-K version, which I thought was the best version, but I don't know if I'd call it "classic", and it didn't coexist with the logo/color scheme they're using. Meanwhile, Pepsi Max is rebranding as "Pepsi Zero Sugar", though there's still small text at the top of the label saying "MAX taste".

    While I'm glad Pepsi is bringing the previous formula back, as I liked it a lot more, I don't like the way they're going about it. DP sales were already declining before the sweetener change, and while said change sped up the decline, I can't see there being enough of a market for two different versions of Diet Pepsi (three if you count Max/"Zero Sugar", which also seems like a pointless move). Also, while Pepsi says that the removal of aspartame was a common customer request, I don't think replacing it with another artificial sweetener was what most of these customers had in mind. IMO, if they're going to have two versions of Diet Pepsi, it would make more sense to have a stevia/monk fruit version along with the "classic" aspartame formula.

    Maybe this will ultimately go the same way as the attempt to make New Coke/Coke II coexist with Coke Classic, but on a much smaller scale. Or maybe they're hoping that "regular" Diet Pepsi will outsell the alternate niche version, thus eliminating the need for it altogether. Regardless, this just seems like another poorly thought out knee-jerk move. Wasn't "classic" Diet Pepsi supposed to be sold separately online anyway?

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