As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But even though there aren’t that many loyal devotees of Diet Pepsi who would call this popular beverage “broken,” PepsiCo decided to fix it anyway. The soda giant replaced the aspartame in it with sucralose, and the new product is in the process of being rolled out. We were sent a few cans to sample.
If you’re a casual Diet Pepsi drinker, you honestly probably won’t be able to tell the difference. The company has essentially swapped out Equal or NutraSweet with Splenda. Even though the federal government has repeatedly said that aspartame is safe to use (and Coca-Cola is defending it), Pepsi North America’s CEO said at an investor conference in February that the top complaint about the product was its use of aspartame, CNN Money reported. The following month, they announced that sucralose would be replacing aspartame in Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi, and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi. The products now also contain sugar substitute acesulfame potassium, often called ace-K.
So how does it taste? Replace Equal with Splenda in your coffee and you’ll have a pretty good idea. If you try them side by side, you’ll find that the difference is almost imperceptible, but it’s definitely there. Drinking it with no other reference point, however, is essentially the same exact experience as drinking the old Diet Pepsi. But if it puts people’s minds at ease, then there’s no harm done.
If you absolutely must have your Diet Pepsi with aspartame, by the way, the company recently said that they’re working to find a way to make the old product still available.