PepsiCo to revamp its Diet Cola lineup in a bid to revive growth

PepsiCo Inc plans to revamp its lineup of diet colas - including renaming one product and releasing an older formulation of another - in a bid to revive sales.
PepsiCo Inc plans to revamp its lineup of diet colas - including renaming one product and releasing an older formulation of another - in a bid to revive sales.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - PepsiCo Inc plans to revamp its lineup of diet colas - including renaming one product and releasing an older formulation of another - in a bid to revive sales.

Pepsi Max will be renamed Pepsi Zero Sugar in the U.S. to more clearly show that the beverage has zero calories, the company said. PepsiCo, which removed the artificial sweetener aspartame from Diet Pepsi just last year, will sell the beverage in its old recipe as Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener blend in retro packaging. Diet Pepsi without aspartame will continue to be the company's primary diet cola.

The plan is the latest attempt by the world's second- largest soft-drink company to reverse declining sales of diet colas, which have been hurt by consumers' growing distaste for artificial ingredients.

Diet Pepsi's sales volume fell 5.8 per cent in 2015, according to data from Beverage Digest, which reported on the diet-cola revamp earlier.

"Consumers want choice in diet colas, so we're refreshing our U.S. lineup to provide three options that meet differing needs and taste preferences," Gina Anderson, a PepsiCo spokeswoman, said in a statement.

The shares were down 0.6 per cent to US$101.38 (S$137) at 7:45 a.m. in early trading in New York. PepsiCo had gained 2.1 per cent this year through the end of last week.