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    In The News: Can Sodas Succeed with Stevia?

    More Stevia controversy.

    This time, it revolves around two soft drink giants — Coca Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. — desperate to gain back customers after experiencing tumbling sales this year.

    “Coca-Cola Co. will begin selling products made with [the] new zero-calorie sweetener despite no official nod from [the Food & Drug Administration], but rival PepsiCo Inc. said Monday it won’t follow suit,” reports today’s San Francisco Chronicle.

    Pepsi actually has two Stevia-sweetened drinks on deck, but is waiting to launch them until the sweetener receives a “generally recognized as safe” moniker from the FDA.

    “A no-calorie, all-natural sweetener is a huge opportunity for the beverage industry,” Morgan Stanley spokesperson Bill Pecoriello said at today’s Beverage Digest conference.

    A huge opportunity to trick consumers into thinking these beverages are “healthy” and perhaps even a viable solution to the obesity problem?

    My concern is that among all this Stevia joy, the main problem is being overlooked: soda — diet or not — is usually consumed with unhealthy foods.

    Most people usually pair it up with chips, pizza, fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, and other high-calorie fare.

    Complementing four slices of pepperoni pizza with a Stevia-based, rather than Splenda-based, soda isn’t exactly that great of an improvement.

    And although stevia is the least Frankenstein-ish of non-caloric sweeteners, all sodas contain phosphoric acid, which isn’t something you want to consume on a daily basis.

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    2 Comments

    1. Fooducate said on December 16th, 2008

      it appears that Coke’s stevia products will be in the Odwalla line of fruit juices. Why in the world would Odwalla need to add any more sweetness to a fruit juice in the first place?

    2. Fooducate said on December 16th, 2008

      it appears that Coke’s stevia products will be in the Odwalla line of fruit juices. Why in the world would Odwalla need to add any more sweetness to a fruit juice in the first place?

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