Pepsi has announced it is to go head-to-head with Coca Cola with the launch of a new stevia-based soft drink marketed as a healthy alternative.
The new Pepsi True is sweetened using the naturally occurring sweetener extracted from a South American plant, and will be sold exclusively on Amazon.com in a major departure from the typical distribution chain in the beverage sector.
"It's a brand-new product proposition with a brand-new media platform, and we want to make sure the launch reflects a right-size approach," Simon Lowden, chief marketing officer at Pepsi Beverages North America.
The American beverage giant added the market for mid-calorie drinks - those containing more calories than its "diet" counterpart - remains small, and that Pepsi True would be a niche product as part of the wider portfolio that includes Pepsi Max and Diet Pepsi.
According to Pepsi, the new drink contains 30 per cent less calories than normal Pepsi and it does not use artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup, unlike most soft drinks in the market.
Pepsi True comes shortly after Cola-Cola launched its own stevia-based, healthier drink, Coca-Cola Life, in what's already being dubbed "the stevia wars" as consumers look for healthier options.Reuse content