Your cravings for Fanta, Maaza, 7UP will suffer a shock to the system! And all for the sake of your health. In an attempt to address the growing public concern over high sugar content in fizzy drinks, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are planning to use stevia, a plant-based natural sweetener in their drinks, as per a report by Time of India. While PepsiCo is considering a low-calorie option of its lemony drink 7UP, Coca-Cola is doing the same with Fanta. As per the report, Coca-Cola may also launch a low-sugar variant of its mango drink, Maaza. A Coca-Cola spokesperson told TOI, “As articulated by our global CEO, Coca-Cola has undertaken a three-pronged strategy to give consumers wider choice of low no calorie products.”
Ajay Chandran, senior director, South Asia at PureCircle, a B2B stevia supplier, was quoted in the report saying, “We have been growing in India in double-digits… Globally, around 14,000 products have been launched with stevia and many companies in India are experimenting with it currently.”
As of now, the company going for a low-calorie drink uses aspartame, an artificial sweetener in the recipe. As per Wikipedia, Aspartame is approximately 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Due to this property, even though aspartame produces four kilocalories of energy per gram when metabolized, the quantity of aspartame needed to produce a sweet taste is so small that its caloric contribution is negligible.