ATLANTA - Coca-Cola has tiptoed into the mid-calorie soft drinks category by testing of Sprite Select and Fanta Select brands, the New York Times reports. PepsiCo debuted Pepsi Next with 60 calories in March.
Coke€™s mid-calorie soft drinks will be sold in a few stores in Atlanta, Detroit, Memphis and Minneapolis. "It€™s a limited test of new formulations to see if they might appeal to consumers," said spokesman Scott Williamson.
Soft drink firms are tinkering with new sweeteners and sweetener blends in an effort to recapture consumer interest in carbonated beverages. Part of the move to mid-calorie drinks is to counter an image of soda contributing to obesity.
Beverage Digest reported this week that Coke is combining sugar, Truvia and erythritol to sweeten its Select brands. Some of those sweeteners are part of Vitaminwater Zero, also made by Coke.
Pepsi Next contains acesulfame potassium, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup and Splenda. Pepsi has been happy with the reception of Pepsi Next, said spokesman Dave DeCecco.