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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Why is Pepsico Holding Back from Giving Their HFCS Free, Sugar Sweetened Pepsi and Mountain Dew "Throwback" and Dr Pepper "Made with Real Sugar" Sodas a Permanent Spot on our Grocer's Shelves while they Replace Sierra Mist with New Sierra Mist Natural ?

I was really excited to see the high fructose corn syrup free (HFCS) Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwbacks and "Made with Real Sugar" Dr Pepper products back on my local market's shelf last month.  Although I am not a soda drinker (aside from the occasional Diet Rite), for the sake of my soda drinking friends and hubby, I hoped these HFCS free sodas would stay this time.  Hey the third time's a charm right?  Well I was wrong.

Pepsico rolled out their "Made with Sugar" Dr. Pepper in  July and has rolled out their Throwback sodas twice before for limited time offerings but this time, in the same month, they rolled out their permanent replacement for Sierra Mist with their new Sierra Mist Natural.  Since the Throwbacks, "Made without Sugar' Dr. Pepper and Sierra Mist Natural all are made with sugar, I kind of thought they would all be here to stay.

Not only is the retro packaging for the Throwback line fun for us old folks to see, the fact that the Throwbacks, "Made without Sugar" Dr Pepper and Sierra Mist Natural products contain absolutely no HFCS, is great green news for all.  The flip side of this good news is the fact that Pepsico seems to be holding back on giving their HFCS free Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Dr Pepper drinks a permanent spot on our grocer's shelves.  I wondered why.  

I called and asked Pepsico if the Throwback Pepsi and Mountain Dew as well as their "Made without Sugar" Dr. Pepper would be offered again soon or if consumers could keep an eye out for them to appear permanently on our shelves.  I found out that apparently, the folks at Pepsico are using us to test the products "sellability" and even though the word is that sales have been strong on these HFCS free brands, currently, the only one that will be sticking around is the Sierra Mist Natural.
Pepsico also said that the trend they are seeing with consumers, is for products that are free of HFCS and made with natural ingredients.  Uh DUH.  Maybe Pepsico should listen to consumers and make the leap to a complete line of sodas without HFCS.
So the girls love it with their Newman's Own Organic Oreos?   Yup!

I must say folks that I really like the taste of Sierra Mist Natural and think it is much better than I remember Sprite tasting.  Plus, two of my hard to please girls love it too!

Funny though, I could only find the liter size bottle at my local convenience store and I wonder if  my local Publix has it in single serve sizes; (Update 9-30-10 Publix is stocking Sierra Mist Natural in the single serve sizes!) I was surprised that there were a ton of the Sierra Mist single serve sizes at the convenience store, but absolutely none of the new Sierra Mist Naturals. 

Considering that, according to Beverage Digest, Sprite is more than four times more popular than Sierra Mist, hopefully the new Sierra Mist Natural  will be a winner with you guys too and push Pepsico to make sugar their chosen sweetener for ALL of their drinks. Oh wait, and maybe they could even check out stevia or some other honestly natural sweeteners and dump aspartame.  Can you say ditch the headaches and neurological damage some people (like me) experience when ingesting aspartame? 

Still, not being one to bash a company that is trying to help consumers live healthier lives (or is it a company trying to improve market share?), I give props to Pepsico for their efforts with Sierra Mist.  Sierra Mist Natural, without HFCS, comes to consumers just as the Corn Refiner's Association, even through their insistence that HFCS is as safe as sugar, decides to rebrand high fructose corn syrup as corn sugar.

Pepsico, are you getting it yet?  Consumers want real sugar and if you want to pull ahead of your competition, you better give it to them in not only one drink...but in all of them, all of the time. For your diet brands, come on guys and take a leap to a natural sweetener.  I kinda think it would pay off for ya'.

P.S.- I am really glad that you stopped by our Environmental Booty Blog and I hope you have learned or shared a thing or two.  I hope that , now that you've found us,  you won't lose us!  You can join our green living online community, subscribe to our posts download our community toolbar, Tweet with me on Twitter or Come Shop with Me to stay in touch!  - Shane :)
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