PURCHASE, NY -- PepsiNEXT, a new soda that contains half the calories of regular Pepsi, is slated to roll out nationwide by the end of March.
PepsiCo announced in June that it was testing the 60-calories-a-can soda, formulated for consumers who favor the taste of regular soda but want to cut back on their calories. | SEE STORY
PepsiCo's previous attempt at a diet-regular soda hybrid, Pepsi Edge, and rival Coke's mid-calorie C2 were introduced in the early 2000s. Both met with slow sales and were taken out of vending machines a few years later.
Pepsi says its new soda is formulated with sugar, three artificial sweeteners and high-fructose corn syrup to more closely emulate the taste of regular soda.
The Purchase, NY, beverage giant is banking on Pepsi NEXT to help it gain back the market share it's lost in recent years. Shares of PepsiCo's namesake drink fell 9.5% in the carbonated soft drink market in 2010, from 13.6% a decade earlier, while Diet Pepsi's share remained steady at 5.3%. Coke holds the top spot, with 17% market share. Diet Coke follows with 9.9%.