Resurrecting Mid-Calorie Sodas

March 15, 2012
Dr Pepper tastes success with Ten, Pepsi to follow with Next

It’s been done before, by the other two, and without stellar results. Nevertheless, Dr Pepper Snapple Group credited most of its strong results in its fourth quarter to its new mid-calorie soda. Dr Pepper Ten, a 10-calorie soda aimed mostly at men, bucks other trends, too, by relying on a traditional aspartame-acesulfame potassium (ace-K) blend plus high-fructose corn syrup.

The Plano, Texas, firm followed that up with test marketing of five more 10-calorie beverages in Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Evansville, Ind., and central Pennsylvania, starting in January, according to the Wall Street Journal. A&W Ten, Canada Dry Ten, RC Ten, Sunkist Ten (do you see a pattern emerging?) and 7Up Ten are the experiments.

Shortly thereafter, PepsiCo revealed it would take another shot at a mid-calorie cola. "Pepsi Next," at 60 calories per can, will have about half the calories of regular Pepsi and is scheduled to hit store shelves nationally by the end of March. Recall that Pepsi made a similar try with Pepsi Edge in 2004, after Coca-Cola Co. had debuted C2. Both were quietly canned in 2006 because of poor sales.

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