Pepsi UK has stepped up in soda war with its new drink – Pepsi Raw after Coca-Cola launched Diet Coke Plus in 2007. According to the company, it has dropped artificial preservatives or sweeteners. Original Pepsi has fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial colorings, phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid and natural flavors. Instead, this so called “Pepsi Raw” is made from natural sources such as apple extract, plain caramel coloring, tartaric acid from grapes, coffee leaf, cane sugar, gum arabic from acacia trees, and sparkling water. Guess that is the reason Pepsi raw is paler in color.
At the initial glance, I wanted to applaud Pepsi for its effort in making a healthier drink. But, after further reading, I was puzzled with several things:
- By replacing corn syrup with cane sugar, the calorie content of a 300 ml bottle has been reduced from around 126 calories to around 117 calories. I am not really impressed for the reduction of only 9 calories.
- Pepsi Raw is promoted as a club drink, rather than a normal soda. I am not sure whether the company think that folks in clubs and bars really care about their health. As of now, Pepsi Raw is said to only be served in certain bars and clubs in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Brighton, Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool. Pepsi is fast enough to deny that Pepsi Raw is marketed as a health drink. It is labeled as a natural drink. A spoke person said, “It is a premium drink for people who like natural products.”
- If you look at the ingredient of Pepsi Raw, it has coffee leaf. Correct me if I were wrong, coffee leaf has caffeine too.
In short, soda is a soda, no matter what they call it, raw or plus; no matter how they market it, even with interesting posters like these:
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