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Craving higher sales, Diet Pepsi seeks sweeter formula

At first glance, it seems innocent enough that Diet Pepsi is tweaking its formula to stay sweet a little while longer.

The soda’s current sweetener -- aspartame -- loses its potency faster than high fructose corn syrup, the sweetener that’s used in most regular sodas.

To remedy that, PepsiCo is reportedly experimenting with other sweetener mixes. A new-and-improved version could be unveiled next year.

The company told the Associated Press that it’s “always looking at ways to provide the best consumer experience.”

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Here’s the thing: Our friends at PepsiCo aren’t stupid. They know that the human body goes ga-ga for things that are sweet or fatty or salty (or any combo thereof).

That biological giddiness translates into more consumption, which translates into more sales. And that means more profit.

So if PepsiCo can up the sweetness factor of its drinks, it’s almost inevitable that people will respond by gulping more of the stuff. Maybe Diet Pepsi isn’t as bad for you as straight-up Pepsi, but it’s not good for you.

Sweeter beverages also reinforce your body’s cravings. By rewarding your impulse for a blast of sweetness, your body will just want more. Odds are, you’ll end up satisfying that impulse more frequently with greater consumption of junk food.

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So hats off to PepsiCo for staying on the hunt for new ways to improve the consumer experience.

But let’s be clear about what’s really going on here.


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