Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pepsi NEXT: No aspartame after taste (product review)

Pepsi NEXT has hit the shelves at my local Walmart and I, being eager to taste this new Pepsi product, snapped up a 1-liter bottle for $1.  I grew up drinking Pepsi, though I've migrated mostly to Coke and Dr. Pepper, mainly for taste preferences.

What did I think of Pepsi NEXT?  Here are a few thoughts...

Image courtesy of Pepsico
How'd it taste?  Well, it tasted better than I thought it would, actually.  I tried Dr. Pepper's Ten (though not marketed to women - and I find their advertising slogan of 'Not for Women' offensive, and short-sighted on their part to blatantly advertise that it's not for those of us who do the majority of grocery shopping.) and did not care for it, nor did my spouse (the so-called target audience).  I was prepared for Pepsi NEXT to remind me of Dr. Pepper Ten, but it didn't.  I could taste a lot more cola flavor than typical Pepsi, a taste that one would find in a generic cola or a watered down Pepsi fountain drink you might get at a fast food joint.

However, I have to acknowledge that I liked the taste of Pepsi NEXT better than regular Pepsi, mainly because it tasted less acidic to me.  If I drink regular Pepsi, it kind of burns going down.  This didn't do that for me and I could focus my attention on the cola taste instead.

If I pitted Pepsi NEXT against Throwback Pepsi, it would be a close call.  Throwback has more of a natural sugar taste, but the Pepsi NEXT has more of a cola taste.   The blend of the sweeteners doesn't come across as too sugary, yet though there's aspartame, I didn't taste that diet soda after taste I normally can discern in diet sodas.

Pepsi NEXT sweeteners:  Pepsi NEXT is a "diet" soda (60% less sugar), and it does contain aspartame, so the normal warning for Phenylketonurics appears on the label.  There are actually three sweeteners -- aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium -- listed in the ingredients.   You can view all the ingredients by product on Pepsico's beverage website here and compare.   The blend of sweeteners does seem to be a winning combo, since I didn't have an after taste, other than cola.

Pepsi NEXT taste testing:  Walmarts across the country will be offering Pepsi NEXT samples so you can test drive this new soda yourself.  Check the Pepsi NEXT Facebook page for details on when a sampling event will be at a Walmart near you by inputting your zip code. 

Calories:  You'll consume 40 calories (or less) per 8 fluid ounces of Pepsi NEXT, according to the label.  Regular Pepsi has 100 calories per 8 fluid ounces.  With less calories and a good taste, Pepsi NEXT could be a good alternative for people like me who don't like the after taste of diet sodas, but don't want all of those empty calories that a traditional soda contains.

Disclosure:  As stated, I purchased Pepsi NEXT on my own.  This review was not solicited by Pepsi and is not compensated.  The opinions are my own.
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