Diet Pepsi is a no-calorie carbonated cola soft drinks produced by PepsiCo, introduced in 1964 as a variant of Pepsi-Cola with no sugar. First test marketed in 1963 under the name Patio Diet Cola, it was re-branded as Diet Pepsi the following year, becoming the first diet cola to be distributed on a national scale in the United States. In the 1960s and 1970s its competition consisted of Tab, produced by The Coca-Cola Company, and Diet Rite soda, produced by Royal Crown. Diet Coke was a later entrant to the diet cola market; though shortly after entering production in 1982 it became the primary competing diet cola to Diet Pepsi.
The Diet Pepsi logo used from 2014-2015; 2018-present
|Country of origin||United States|
|Introduced||1964; reformulated 2013; changed back in 2018|
|Variants||Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi
Diet Pepsi Lime
Diet Pepsi Vanilla
Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry
|Related products||Diet Coke, Pepsi ONE, Pepsi Max, Coca-Cola Zero|
While the U.S. represents the largest single market for Diet Pepsi, it was launched in the U.K. in 1983 and has since become available on a global scale. The beverage composition, flavor variations and packaging varies based on the country of production. In some countries—primarily in Eastern Europe—the product is labeled and sold under the name Pepsi Light. In the UK it was called Pepsi Diet to bring it inline with the European version, until 2015 when it was renamed Diet Pepsi once again.
Diet Pepsi was originally created in the US under the name Patio in 1963. Following a positive reception attributed to the shifting dietary habits and preferences among the Baby Boom Generation at the time, the drink was re-branded as Diet Pepsi the following year. It became the first diet cola to be distributed on a national scale in the United States. Distribution was extended to the UK in 1983, where it is also referred to as Diet Pepsi. Distribution has since expanded to other countries around the world; though an alternate name is used in certain countries. In Italy, Czech Republic,Poland Argentina, Spain Greece, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and Brazil, the beverage is known as Pepsi Light.
Diet Pepsi competed primarily with another diet cola named Tab in the 1960s and 1970s; however, The Coca-Cola Company introduced Diet Coke in 1982 and this product has since been the principal competing product to Diet Pepsi. As of 2010, Diet Pepsi represented a 5.3 percent share of all carbonated soft drink sales in the United States, and was ranked as the #7 soft drink brand by volume. In the same year, Diet Coke was recorded as having a 9.9 percent market share.
Additional variations of Diet Pepsi have been introduced over the years, wherein other flavors (such as wild cherry, vanilla, lemon, and lime) have been added to the cola. A caffeine-free version of Diet Pepsi is also produced. The availability and brand identification of Diet Pepsi flavor variants varies by country. In addition to Diet Pepsi, PepsiCo produces other low-calorie colas known as Pepsi Max and Pepsi ONE. These products, however, are marketed separately, and are not labeled under the Diet Pepsi brand.
|Serving size 12 fl oz (355 ml)|
|Servings per container 1|
|Amount per serving|
|Calories 0||Calories from fat 0|
|% Daily value*|
|Total fat 0 g||0%|
|Saturated fat 0 g||0%|
|Trans fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 35 mg||1%|
|Potassium 0 mg||0%|
|Total carbohydrate 0 g||0%|
|Dietary fiber 0 g||0%|
|Sugars 0 g|
|Protein 0 g|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||0%|
|*Percent daily values are based on a 2,000‑calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.|
In the United States, Diet Pepsi is marketed as having zero calories, as FDA guidelines categorize products with fewer than five calories per serving to be labeled as containing "zero calories". It is also positioned as having no carbohydrates, as represented in the primary slogan, which as of 2011 is "0 carbs. 0 calories. It's the diet cola."
Though Diet Pepsi is represented worldwide as a low- or no-calorie beverage, the ingredients comprising its makeup vary in some cases by the country of origin. In the U.S., its ingredients are recorded as "carbonated water, caramel color, sucralose, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate (preserves freshness), caffeine, citric acid, natural flavor; phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine." In Canada, the ingredient listing reads: "carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, aspartame (124 mg/355 ml, contains phenylalanine), sodium benzoate, caffeine, flavor, acesulfame potassium (32 mg/355ml), citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane." Comparatively in the U.K., Diet Pepsi is listed as consisting of "carbonated water, colour (caramel E150d), flavorings (including caffeine), phosphoric acid, sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame K), acidity regulator (sodium citrate), preservative (sodium benzoate), citric acid, contains a source of phenylalanine."
In the composition of all no-calorie carbonated colas, an alternative sweetener is used in place of sugar, which if used would result in the product containing calories. The initial formulation of Diet Pepsi was sweetened with the artificial sweetener saccharin; though concerns over saccharin emerged in the 1970s, prompting a shift to an alternative sweetener, aspartame, which was marketed as the brand NutraSweet, in 1983. Aspartame, which as of 2011 is the primary sweetener in Diet Pepsi, has been the subject of controversy, most notably in 1996 following a 60 Minutes report on concerns alleging that aspartame might be linked to the development of brain tumors in humans. Critics of Aspartame have expressed concerns that numerous health risks may be associated with its consumption; however, peer-reviewed comprehensive review articles and independent reviews by governmental regulatory bodies have analyzed the published research on the safety of aspartame and have described it as safe for consumption at current levels. Aspartame has been deemed safe for human consumption by regulatory agencies in their respective countries, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.K. Food Standards Agency, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and Canada's Health Canada.
In December 2012, an AP article reported that Diet Pepsi was changing its sweetener to sucralose ahead of a major rebranding of the soft drink set for January 2013. In 2015, some people on Facebook and Twitter expressed their distaste for the new formula. In response, Pepsi revived its aspartame formulation, as "Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend" for US markets in September 2016, and it was sold alongside the new formula. In December 2017, the label for Diet Pepsi stated "Now Aspartame Free"/"Aspartame Free" and listed sucralose as the sweetener in the ingredients list. According to Pepsi-Cola manufacturer/distributor Wis-Pak, PepsiCo announced plans to reformulate Diet Pepsi back to its original formula, reverting its sweetener from sucralose to aspartame. The new formulation was released marketwide on February 25, 2018.
Packaging and logoEdit
When it was first introduced in 1964, Diet Pepsi was packaged in glass bottles, and was also made available in can format. In 1994, Diet Pepsi became the first product to list a “freshness date” on each individual can and bottle, a practice that would later become a widespread standard in the packaged food and beverage industry. As of 2014, the product is distributed in plastic recyclable bottles, cans and glass bottles, as well as via soda fountains in retail operations such as restaurants and convenience stores.
The logo used in the packaging and advertisement of Diet Pepsi has changed multiple times since its original iteration. The shortest-lived logo for Diet Pepsi was in 2007-2008. In October 2008, PepsiCo announced it would be redesigning its logo and re-branding many of its products, including Diet Pepsi, although the drink continued to use the 2007-2008 logo until very early 2009. At this time the brand's blue and red globe trademark became a series of "smiles," with the central white band arcing at different angles depending on the product. The new imagery has started to be used. In the case of Diet Pepsi, the logo consists of the small "smile".
Starting in mid-2010, all Pepsi variants, both regular and diet, began using the medium-sized "smile" logo.
The Classic Sweetener Blend variety is distinguished by its use of the 2003-2006 wordmark along with the "smile" logo, and a light blue label background in contrast to the modern formulation's silver label. By mid-2017, packages of Classic Sweetener Blend dropped the 2003 wordmark, and have since began using the modernized wordmark instead.
Advertising and promotionEdit
While it was initially advertised alongside Pepsi, Diet Pepsi began to be promoted independently in the late 1960s. The first television advertisement to feature Diet Pepsi as a standalone product was “Girlwatchers,” which placed focus on the cosmetic aspects of the beverage. The musical jingle from this ad generated popular culture appeal to the extent that it was eventually recorded and played on the radio, and later became a Top 40 hit.
Since its inception, musicians, professional athletes, actors and actresses have been featured prominently in the promotion of Diet Pepsi. In 1985, immediately following Super Bowl XIX, the game's respective quarterbacks, Joe Montana and Dan Marino, met in a hallway of what appeared to be a football stadium. Montana of the winning team, buys Marino a Diet Pepsi, and Marino promises to buy the drink the next time. A Diet Pepsi advertisement in the same year featured Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run for vice-president in the U.S. When the feature film Top Gun was released on home video cassette in 1987, it was promoted via television advertisements – consisting of a Top Gun pilot flying upside down while holding a bottle of Diet Pepsi – which were paid for by Pepsi. In exchange, the film's production studio, Paramount Pictures, included a 60-second Diet Pepsi advertisement on all Top Gun VHS tapes. The resulting cross-promotion was the first of its kind, and after it set record videocassette sales, it was described as "the beginning of a trend" by the Los Angeles Times.
In the late 1980s, Michael J. Fox did commercials for Diet Pepsi, including a memorable commercial that featured him making a robot clone of himself. In that commercial, Fox's girlfriend (played by Lori Loughlin) shows up and accidentally hits Fox with the door, causing him to fall down a chute into the basement. The girlfriend takes the robot clone on a date and leaves the real Fox trapped.
During the early 1990s, R&B singer Ray Charles was featured in a series of Diet Pepsi ads featuring the brand's then-current tagline, "You got the right one, baby!" Supermodel Cindy Crawford became a recurring celebrity endorser for the Diet Pepsi brand at this time as well, beginning with a 1991 television ad in which she purchases a can of the drink from a vending machine on a hot summer day. Cindy Crawford was also brought back in 2002 to introduce a new packaging design for Diet Pepsi, and again in 2005 to promote the revised slogan "Light, crisp, refreshing" with an ad which debuted during Super Bowl XXXIX. In 2005 and 2006, recording artist Gwen Stefani appeared in advertisements related to a campaign in which codes printed underneath Diet Pepsi bottle caps could be redeemed for music downloads on the Apple iTunes music store.
- 1964: "Now you can have your cola and diet, too"
- 1964-1966: "Come Alive, You're in the Pepsi Generation (together with regular Pepsi)"
- 1966-1969: "The girls girl-watchers watch, drink Diet Pepsi"
- 1967-1970: "Diet Pepsi...someone will be watching"
- 1970-1973: "Diet Pepsi tastes so great...you'll do a Double Take"
- 1973-1974: "1-calorie sugar-free Diet Pepsi is here"
- 1974-1976: "You can do it, We can help"
- 1977-1978: "Diet Pepsi...changing the taste of America"
- 1978-1980: "You're drinking Diet Pepsi...and it shows"
- 1980-1983: "Now You See It, Now You Don't"
- 1983: "Sip into something irresistible"
- 1984: "Taste. Improved by Diet Pepsi"
- 1985–1986: "Diet Pepsi. The One-calorie Choice of a New Generation"
- 1987–1988: "Diet Pepsi. The Choice of a New Generation"
- 1988–1989: "Diet Pepsi. The Taste That's Generations Ahead"
- 1989–1991: "Diet Pepsi. The Right One"
- 1989–1992: "Diet Pepsi. The Taste That Beats Diet Coke"
- 1991–1994: "You got the right one Baby UH HUH" (sung by Ray Charles for Diet Pepsi)
- 1994: "Freshness dating from Diet Pepsi"
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- "ATTENTION: WIS-PAK ORDER MANAGEMANT SIGN ON INDIVIDUAL."
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Diet Pepsi.|
- Official Diet Pepsi website
- List of country-specific official Diet Pepsi websites
- Nutrition facts listing on pepsiproductfacts.com
- Diet Pepsi packaging variants on USAsoda.com