- On August 11, 2015, Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi without aspartame became available in stores. Due to consumer concerns about the safety of aspartame, PepsiCo replaced it with a blend of sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium.
- Initial social media response, especially on Facebook and Twitter, to the new Diet Pepsi has been harsh, with many proclaiming they hate the taste.
- A Pepsi spokesperson told Business Insider that in internal tests 75% of consumers liked the taste and responded favorably to the new formula. "We're really confident that consumers will love aspartame-free Diet Pepsi," she said, noting the drink has been in stores for only a week.
Diet soft drink sales have been falling in recent years. In particular, Diet Pepsi sales were down 5.2 percent in 2014, a decline attributed largely to concerns about aspartame. PepsiCo was responding to consumer demands, but reformulating a product is always risky.
Will the new Diet Pepsi be a repeat of the New Coke fiasco? Only time will tell. In the meantime, haters of the new formula may not be out of luck. In July, PepsiCo said it plans to make the old version of Diet Pepsi available online. Or people can cross the border and pick up the old formula in Canada, where it's still sold.