The future of cola: sweet, but not that sweet

Pepsi and Coke are working on formulas with less sugar but the same taste

In an era of coconut water and yogurt drinks, colas seem downright passé. Cola’s link to the obesity epidemic hasn’t helped its reputation either.

But deep in laboratories, cola giants Pepsi and Coke are working on the next generation of cola drinks built around healthier, less corn-syrupy formulations.

Pepsi, for instance, is working with biotech firm Senomyx to develop a taste modifier that “would essentially fool taste buds into thinking they are getting more sugar than delivered,” says Advertising Age.

That would allow Pepsi colas to taste the same but contain less high-fructose corn syrup.

Coke, meanwhile, is experimenting with natural sweeteners from the stevia plant. The first stevia cola, called Coca-Cola Life, was launched in Argentina this year.

“Whether these companies can get natural sweeteners that bring the calories way down and preserve good taste is really going to be what people are looking for over the next two years,” says John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest.

Read the full Ad Age story here.

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