Here's a little food-related rage for your Friday. We were offered free samples of Pepsi True, a new stevia-sweetened soda from PepsiCo that purports to have "Real Cola Taste. True Pepsi Fun." It's made without artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup, and it has only 16 grams of sugar. And guess what—it's disgusting.
It is as lethally saccharine as the faux-stevia poison that killed a bad lady on that TV show I won't name-drop for the sake of spoiler preservation. It tastes like food coloring that's been soaked in a noxious chemical and the chalky caramel they use in calcium chews. It does not taste like Pepsi, and it does not taste like Diet Pepsi. It does not taste good.
Moreover, considering this 7.5 ounce can clocks in at 60 calories, as opposed to a regular 12 ounce can's 150 calories, it's not even as much of a slim-down tool as the packaging might suggest. And though Pepsi True's 16 grams of sugar is better for you than the 41 grams of sugar boasted by that aforementioned regular 12 ounce can, that's still only a 30 percent reduction of an already massive stack of sugar cubes. A teaspoon of sugar typically contains four grams of the sweet stuff. Four teaspoons of sugar is way more than you (should) want to dump in your morning coffee, considering the World Health Organization suggests you consume only six teaspoons of sugar per day.
It's a good sign that there's enough attention being paid to sugar's adverse health effects that companies known for entrapping sweet-toothed consumers are retooling their products. PepsiCo's not alone in this endeavor—recently, Coca-Cola introduced "Coke Life," another reduced-sugar, stevia-sweetened soda that, like Pepsi True, comes in a "healthier"-looking green can. Of course, it should come as no surprise that Coke Life's release coincided with a major decline in Coca-Cola sales.
Soda companies always try to make you believe they are on your side. PepsiCo claims its new products "demonstrate its commitment to calorie reduction and consumer choice," and now that sugar's become Public Health Enemy #1, they will lure YOU, the CONSUMER, in with this seemingly "healthy" innovation. Do not fall for this. Do not drink Pepsi True.
Pepsi True is currently available for sale exclusively on Amazon, though the company expects retailers to start carrying it in the new future. Purchase this only if you plan to spill it on an appliance, it which case that appliance will presumably transport you back to the 1980s and make Rob Corddry your friend.