Pepsi is facing a backlash for changing the formula of Diet Pepsi.
Some customers are complaining that the new Diet Pepsi, which hit stores last week, tastes “terrible” and has a strange aftertaste.
“Diet Pepsi is awful,” one customer wrote on the company’s Facebook page. “I hate the new flavour.”
Another wrote, “Got a bunch of the new diet Pepsi. Disgusting. Will have to return. Bring the old one back.”
The revamped formula replaces the artificial sweetener aspartame with a blend of sucralose — best known by the brand name Splenda — and acesulfame potassium.
Pepsi rolled out the new formula following years of declines in soda sales. Diet Pepsi’s sales fell 5.2% last year.
The company hopes that getting rid of aspartame, a widely maligned sweetener, will boost sales as Americans increasingly seek out teas and energy drinks over soda. Pepsi hasn’t responded to a request for comment on this story.
“The number one thing we see from consumers is a complaint about aspartame,” Pepsi North America CEO Al Carey said at an investor conference in February. “Aspartame is just one sweetener but it’s the one that seems to get most of the negatives in the press and on YouTube.”
But now some customers are begging Pepsi to bring back the aspartame:
Anybody else secretly thanking Diet Pepsi for removing aspartame? I can finally kick my addiction simply because it tastes so terrible.
— JLaufe (@JLaufe) August 18, 2015
@pepsi I’m Diet Pepsi drinker & I HATE the new Diet Pepsi. There is definitely a taste difference. It tastes flat!!
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