Coca-Cola puts new sweetener in UK Sprite
The change by the world's biggest beverage maker is in response to a government push calling on companies to address obesity. Coca-Cola already made a similar move with Sprite in France last year.
Stevia is a sweetener extracted from a plant of the same name. Food makers have been trying to use the non-caloric sweetener to reduce calories, but one hurdle has been masking its bitter aftertaste in some drinks.
Sprite is Coca-Cola's fifth most popular brand in the United Kingdom, after Coke, Diet Coke, Schweppes and Fanta. The announcement came ahead of the airing of Coca-Cola's anti-obesity TV ad in the United Kingdom. That ad first aired in the United States in January amid increasing fire over the role sodas play in fuelling obesity rates. Next week, for example, New York City is set to enact a first-in-the-US ban on sugary drinks bigger than 16 ounces in restaurants, movie theaters and other venues.
In the Coca-Cola ad, a narrator notes that obesity "concerns all of us." It also explains that weight gain is the result of consuming too many calories of any kind not just
A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said the ad will roll out to other countries throughout the year, although she didn't
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