The Coke or Pepsi battle may have a new argument.
The Food and Drug Administration has allowed beverage manufacturers to use PureCircle’s high-purity stevia, Reb D, to sweeten products, according to Food Navigator. This change could have significant effects on the Coke and Pepsi, potentially pushing them into a product battle: the Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo are both PureCircle clients, which means it is likely that they will consider adding the stevia product to their drinks.
Malaysia-based PureCircle is the world’s largest supplier of stevia and has recently been working specifically on U.S. products. It claims that high-purity stevia like Reb D is about 270 times sweeter than sugar, making it a more desirable taste profile. PepsiCo already has a stevia supply agreement with PureCircle until June 2014, and the company already has a patent pending for Reb D in its diet soft drinks instead of an earlier stevia product, Rebaudioside A. On the other hand, the Coca-Cola Company announced last Monday is plan to seek Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) approval for a different stevia sweetener, Rebaudioside X. On June 27, Coca-Cola Life with stevia was launched in Argentina.
Although Reb D costs more than other stevia sweeteners, PureCircle is sure of its success.