Pepsi and Coke launches new drinks

Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc said they received US regulatory clearance for natural, calorie-free sweeteners derived from the stevia plant and planned to launch new soft drinks in the coming weeks.

Both Pepsi Pepsi and Coca Cola Coca Colamakers have long searched for a natural alternative to chemical sweeteners such as Equal, Sweet’N Low and Splenda to help reinvigorate US soft drink sales which have slipped as consumers opt for other drinks that are viewed as healthier.

Both drinks will feature PureVia, the sweetener Pepsi developed with Merisant. The new SoBe Lifewater will be on shelves as early as next week, with full distribution by mid-January. Trop 50 will make its retail debut in March.

Truvia and PureVia are made from the leaves of the stevia, a shrub native to South America.

Stevia was not approved as a food additive by US regulators, but the US Food and Drug Administration issued letters to the companies on Wednesday saying it had no objections to their sweeteners, which are derived from the plant.

So yet again, making things sweet – all in a non-natural way…. well, it’s Christmas soon!