Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hooray, Pepsi!

I've never been a big fan of Pepsi, as I was raised in a Coke household. I like Coke better because it's not as sweet as Pepsi. I'm sweet enough already, thank you.

So, this post may seem ironic, because I'm celebrating PepsiCo's "new" product line, their Throwbacks: Pepsi & Mountain Dew. Throwback? They're made with sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup. From an AgWeek report:

FARGO, N.D. - A trial marketing campaign with sugar-containing soda pop manufacturer Pepsi called Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback.

That’s good news for the sugar industry, says David Berg, president and chief executive officer of American Crystal Sugar Co.

“We’ve known this is coming for some time, but the brands are on store shelves now,” Berg says. The product is available in Fargo in single 20-ounce bottles and Berg’s sources tell him 12-packs of 12-ounce cans will be on local shelves by May 1. The campaign is being supported by radio advertising.

Bert says trade publications say the campaign is an eight-week trial.

No need to wait! I bought a 12-pack of Pepsi Throwback at the Target store in Fishers. If it's here, it's probably at your grocer too.

I go out of my way for sodas made with sugar. I sometimes get a Coke at the Mexican grocer, because they make it with sugar in Mexico. Passover is a good time to get Coke, because the sugar version is Kosher. I know the stores that have A&W root beer in the bottle, made with sugar (For instance, there is a Marathon off Exit 36 on I-65, that has A&W and Sunkist. When in Cleveland, I go to the Marc's stores. Etc.). So, having a sugar Pepsi in mass production, even if only for eight weeks, is sweet news indeed.

Sodas I savor. They have sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

The sweetening of drinks in the US is a result of politics. Sugar flat out tastes better than HFCS, but because there are tariffs on imported sugar making it artifically more expensive than it could be, HFCS is generally used instead, because its' price is artificially lower thanks to corn subsidies.
This Wikipedia link is a good springboard for sugar/HFCS reading.

For those who wonder what the fuss is in terms of drinking the stuff, here's your chance to find out. Line up a regular Pepsi with a Throwback and taste test them. The sugar sweetness is far less sticky in the mouth, and leaves me less thirsty than when I started. Drinking an HFCS drink leaves me thirstier than before drinking!

Hey Coca-Cola? You paying attention?


varangianguard said...

But, they want you to desire another, and another...

It's an evil corn plot. A variation of Montezuma's Revenge.

Mike Kole said...

They can want from me all they want... so long as they give me what I want!

varangianguard said...

No wonder Mountain Dew doesn't taste as good as the first one I remember drinking.

Chris Ward said...

Holy Cow....Pepsi tastes amazing in its original, non-bastardized formula!

Greg said...

The real reason that HFCS is used to sweeten to sodas is not marketing, but the US's sugar tariffs. Without the tarriffs sugar would actually cost less than HFCS. Remove them and Coke and Pepsi would switch in a heartbeat. After all, in countries where there is no such tariff, both companies use sugar as a sweetener.

Mike Kole said...

Totally agree, Greg. Remove the tariff to sugar, but also remove the subsidies for corn.. in other words, return to an actual market situation, and it would all be sugar.