Speaking on the firm’s Q2 earnings call yesterday, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said: “For those consumers, who still love Diet Pepsi with aspartame, we will figure out how to make it available online.”
PepsiCo recently unveiled plans to remove aspartame from Diet Pepsi in the US by August (click HERE) and replace it with sucralose, another 'artificial' sweetener that has come down in price significantly over the past 18 months.
Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA in April, PepsiCo SVP Seth Kaufman said consumer research had singled out aspartame – rather that artificial sweeteners in general – as a problem.
“We’ve done a ton of work on consumer calls, letters, along with primary research and social listening and the number one reason why US consumers are drinking less diet cola is because of aspartame. This is about evolving consumer demand in the US and in diet cola specifically we kept hearing about aspartame over and over again from consumers.”
While Q2 net income was flat at $1.98bn and revenues fell 5.7% to $15.92bn, PepsiCo raised its earnings forecast for this year.
New product development efforts were also paying off, said Nooyi: "Over the past three years, we have introduced a number of new products that have achieved or are on pace to achieve more than $100 million each in annual retail sales, including Tostitos Cantina, Mountain Dew Kickstart, Doritos-Cheetos fun multipack mix, and Gatorade Fierce Blue Cherry and Frost Glacier Cherry.
"More recently, we are successfully using premium innovation within key categories to capture more price realization, to relaunch Caleb's Kola and launched DEWshine, a craft premium soda inspired by Mountain Dew's brand roots in the backwoods of Tennessee."