Mid-calorie Pepsi NEXT to be tested this summer

Reuters News
|
Posted: Jun 14, 2011 2:49 AM
Mid-calorie Pepsi NEXT to be tested this summer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc said on Monday it plans to test its new mid-calorie cola, Pepsi NEXT, in Iowa and Wisconsin starting in July.

News of Pepsi NEXT was first reported by Beverage Digest in April.

Pepsi NEXT has 60 calories per can versus 150 for Pepsi-Cola.

It is different from the failed mid-calorie cola -- Pepsi Edge -- that the company launched in 2004 and scrapped in 2005, said PepsiCo Beverages America Chief Executive Massimo d'Amore.

"The way we formulated products 20 years ago was very different," d'Amore said at a conference hosted by Beverage Digest. "You wouldn't play tennis with a wooden racquet today."

Consumer Edge Research analyst Bill Pecoriello said the reason why earlier mid-calorie sodas launched by PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Co failed is that they did not taste good enough.

"It all comes down to taste," Pecoriello said.

D'Amore said he expects Pepsi NEXT will appeal to consumers who stopped drinking full-calorie colas.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Gary Hill)