- Diet Pepsi hasn't found its sweet spot with consumers yet, as many have complained about the taste of the diet soda since PepsiCo changed the recipe to replace aspartame with sucralose.
- "All of PepsiCo’s diet soda sales fell 6.6% in the U.S. in the four weeks ended Sept. 19, as the new Diet Pepsi was rolling out nationwide, worse than the 5.7% decline over the previous 52 weeks, according to Morgan Stanley, citing Nielsen store-scanner data," The Wall Street Journal reported.
- Consumers often take to social media to express their thoughts about food and beverage products and changes, including Diet Pepsi, which has seen a ratio of negative to positive complaints at 6:1, as compared to the typical 4:1 ratio.
Tweaking recipes is a sensitive business. R&D could help circumvent some negative backlash if the right alterations are made based on earlier feedback, but it's still hard to predict exactly how consumers will react to the new changes before a product reaches market.
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, however, says it is still too early to judge how consumers are responding to the new recipe. "Our belief is that you’ve got to wait a few cycles to see what the purchase repeat adoption cycle is," Ms.Nooyi told analysts on an earnings call Tuesday.
According to PepsiCo, surveys conducted during the new Diet Pepsi's testing phase showed that the No. 1 reason consumers stopped drinking diet soda was aspartame, which inspired the new formula.