NEW YORK – Diet Pepsi is tweaking its formula to stay sweet a little longer.
PepsiCo Inc. is testing a new mix of artificial sweeteners that lets the soda keep its taste for a longer period of time. The problem is that the current sweetener used in the soda – aspartame – loses its potency faster than high fructose corn syrup, the sweetener that's used in most regular sodas.
A person with knowledge of the situation says the company had considered importing versions of Diet Pepsi sold in other countries to the U.S. But now it's testing a new version that could come out next year.
The new version is intended to have the same overall taste, according to the person, who requested anonymity because she wasn't authorized to speak publicly. But it uses a mix of artificial sweeteners, including ace-K, that has a longer shelf life. Aspartame on its own is more sensitive to heat, which is a problem when sodas are sitting in trucks or waiting to be shipped to retailers.
It's not the first time PepsiCo is tweaking a diet soft drink. The company, based in Purchase, N.Y., made a similar switch to its Diet Mountain Dew in 2006, according to the industry tracker Beverage Digest. The Coca-Cola Co. tweaked the sweetener used Diet Sprite in 2000.