Pepsi has re-added controversial ingredient aspartame into some of its beverages, prompting an outcry from concerned consumers on social media.
The company is backtracking on a decision it made less than one year ago to replace aspartame with a blend of sucralose in its Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi, and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi beverages. Pepsi made the changes last August in response to customer complaints about aspartame and unfounded fears that the sweetener causes cancer. Diet drinks were also experiencing an across-the-board sales drop at the time.
The company will reintroduce Pepsi Max to U.S. consumers this September as Pepsi Zero Sugar, which will contain aspartame. Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend will also contain aspartame in its formula. However, the company will continue to sell sucralose-sweetened Diet Pepsi.
"Consumers want choice in diet colas, so we’re refreshing our U.S. lineup to provide three options that meet differing needs and taste preferences," a Pepsi spokesperson said via email.
The Pepsi representative did not comment further when asked how the company is responding to customers who are worried about the return of aspartame.
Many consumers expressed their unhappiness with Pepsi’s decision on Twitter.
@DRUDGE_REPORT so Pepsi removed aspartame 'cuz people didn't like cancer link, but when sales fell they said screw the people, profits first— Ken Rogoway (@RogueProgrammer) June 27, 2016
@latimes So just boycott Pepsi as do not consume aspartame ever! Best is just to drink clean, filtered water of your own, not ever bottled!— Maya Varma (@swargcoming) June 27, 2016
@latimes Screw cancer. Profits first. ??— Lou Lzayche (@LzaycheLou) June 27, 2016