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Fresh Living

pepsinatural_official1.jpgYesterday at a local Duane Reade a friend and I spotted Pepsi Natural–a version of Pepsi I’d never seen before. In a lovely tan 4-pack box with modern organic packaging, the stuff intrigued me. Peering at the ingredients on the shapely bottle, I noted no high fructose corn syrup (just “sugar”), no artifical colors, and the addition of actual kola nut extract. Rather hilariously these pretty little 4-packs on sale for $6.99 each were on the shelf above a 12-pack of regular Pepsi for $4.99.

Released in March in only some areas around the country, it’s fascinating to see another mega junk food purveyor trying to get in on the booming natural foods market. Annoying on the one hand (it’s a clear move for market share rather than corporate responsibility, which if they cared anything about, they would nix HFCS in all their products, stat), it’s encouraging on the other–it gets a slightly healthier product out to a broader range of people. Though of course nobody needs to be drinking soda of any kind, even a slightly tamer version.

And the taste? We did an informal snack-time test in our NYC office and overall, it seemed to go over well–people seemed to like it better than Pepsi (not that that was a stretch, it being a mostly Coke crowd). One person: “It tastes like Blue Sky cola.” Another: “It’s like Pepsi that’s been left out for too long.” (It’s a tad less carbonated.) Me: It was definitely less cloying, lighter, and easier to drink. I really like the packaging–appeals to my Whole Food-ist sensibilities. I’m not a soda drinker in general and this certainly didn’t convert me, but it’s nice to know there are options. 

For a detailed Pepsi Natural review by the beverage afficianados at BevReview.com, go here

For more info from a business/ perspective, check out this Reuters article on Pepsi Natural.

Have you tried Pepsi Natural? Or the very similar Bristish version Pepsi Raw? What do you think of gigantinc companies homing in on the natural food market? Good, bad, indifferent?

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