PepsiCo, struggling to cope with plunging sales and unpredictable consumers, is bringing back its old Diet Pepsi formula less than a year after phasing it out.
Diet Pepsi, which was reformulated in August to drop the artificial sweetener aspartame, will be sold in its old recipe as Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener blend in retro packaging, PepsiCo said Monday. As part of a broader revamp of its diet-cola lineup, the company also is renaming Pepsi Max as Pepsi Zero Sugar in the U.S. to more clearly show that the beverage has zero calories.
While PepsiCo says that Diet Pepsi without aspartame will continue to be the company's primary diet cola, reviving the drink's old recipe signals that the new version -- an an attempt to woo consumers increasingly wary of aspartame -- hasn't been a hit. Diet Pepsi's sales volume fell 5.8 percent in 2015 and dropped roughly 11 percent at retail during the first quarter of 2016, according to data from Beverage Digest, which reported on the changes earlier.
"Consumers want choice in diet colas, so we're refreshing our U.S. lineup to provide three options that meet differing needs and taste preferences," Gina Anderson, a spokeswoman for Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo, said in a statement.
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