PepsiCo Inc. has announced they will be reintroducing an aspartame-sweetened version of Diet Pepsi to U.S. stores in September 2016, a move prompted by declining sales of the diet cola.
The company said they will continue to sell Diet Pepsi sweetened with sucralose (commonly known by the brand name Splenda), a version they introduced in August 2015 as a replacement for the aspartame-sweetened version due to (unfounded) consumer fears over the latter.
Diet Pepsi sales, which were already on a downward tend, have dropped more sharply since PepsiCo replaced aspartame with sucralose in the product, due in part to consumers’ dislike of the new taste:
[Aspartame] had been linked to cancer in lab mice and industry executives blamed the decline in sales on unfounded concerns people have about aspartame. The removal of [aspartame] tested the theory that the sweetener was to blame for fleeing customers. But, the move seems to have been a misstep, with consumers dissatisfied over the change in flavor without the sweetener.
PepsiCo will also be renaming Pepsi MAX, a low-calorie, sugar-free cola, as Pepsi Zero Sugar (with aspartame) in the U.S.