Pepsi launches stevia-flavored cola; Coke not far behind - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pepsi launches stevia-flavored cola; Coke not far behind

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Meet Pepsi True, the latest attempt by PepsiCo to sweeten soft drink sales with a mid-calorie cola.

By using sugar and stevia, the new drink contains 30 percent less sugar than a regular Pepsi, but no artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup.

It's also the first cola under the flagship Pepsi brand since Pepsi Next 2-and-a-half years ago, and it will be among the first colas in the U.S. to use stevia, a plant native to Paraguay, as its primary sweetener.

Rival Coca-Cola is also in the process of a gradual and targeted launch of its own reduced-calorie, stevia-sweetened Coca-Cola Life, a cola that has 35 percent fewer calories than its flagship Coke.

Like True, Coca-Cola Life mixes the stevia with sugar to achieve its sweet taste, and it also sports green-hued packaging.

The stevia cola war comes as Pepsi and its peers fight a multi-year slump in U.S. soda sales and a seismic shift in consumer attitudes and tastes toward healthier and more natural beverages. 
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