Coca-Cola unveils ad reassuring consumers about the safety of artificial sweeteners

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Coke runs ads defending its use of aspartame

Related tags: Coca-cola, Us

Coca-Cola has launched a new ad reassuring consumers that artificial high intensity sweeteners are safe alternatives to sugar.

The ad, which appears in issues of USA Today and will appear in other publications in selected US states, say: "The safety of aspartame is supported by more than 200 studies over the last 40 years.​"

It features a picture of two women under the heading: "Quality products you can always feel good about" ​and says: "We understand that some people have questions about the use of low- and no-calorie sweeteners."

But it adds: "Time and again, these low- and no-calorie sweeteners have shown to be safe, high-quality alternatives to sugar."

Coca-Cola: We believe there is a real opportunity to bring people together to learn more about low- and no-calorie sweeteners

A spokesman told FoodNavigator-USA: "One area that is often overlooked in discussions around obesity is the benefit that no and low calorie beverages can provide.

"Low and no calorie sweeteners offer a great way for people to manage their calories while still enjoying the sweet taste of the beverages and products that they love. But, we know that people have questions about aspartame. So, we created this print ad to address their concerns and make it easier for them to get the facts."

He added: "We are working to connect people to credible third party resources and information to reassure them that these are safe, quality ingredients that people can feel good about.”

Coke is also circulating a file containing a series of position statements from researchers and medical and nutrition organizations highlighting the safety of aspartame and other high intensity sweeteners, including this from the National Cancer Institute: "There is no clear evidence that the artificial sweeteners available commercially in the United States are associated with cancer risk in humans."

Coca-Cola, which has just run a series of ads outlining its commitment to fighting obesity and highlighting its low or no-calorie options, saw volumes of Diet Coke fall 3% last year compared with a 1% drop for regular Coke, according to Beverage Digest.

Pepsi has also posted larger volume declines for Diet Pepsi vs full-sugar Pepsi, it claims.

Diet Coke is sweetened with aspartame while Coke Zero is sweetened with a combination of aspartame and Ace K.

The print ad is set to run in USA Today in the Atlanta area, followed by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday and the Chicago Tribune next week.

Click here​ to see the ad.


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