Pepsi NEXT: Real Cola Taste, 60% Less Sugar

Being “the GrubGrade guy”, I often come home to see an unexpected package at my doorstep.  Unfortunately, I can’t get around to featuring everything sent my way.  Today I come home to see a box with “THE WAIT IS OVER! You have to drink it to believe it” written on it.  Turns out that the wait is apparently over for the latest from Pepsi called Pepsi NEXT. This deserves a quick look for the sweet box alone.

In full disclosure, I have no allegiance to Coke or Pepsi.  I’m the last person in the world that should be giving impressions on soda.  Anyways, Pepsi NEXT features 60% less sugar than regular Pepsi.  There are 16 grams of carbs per 12 oz can.  While it’s easy to tell this isn’t regular Pepsi, it’s also a far superior tasting substitute for anything calorie free (I’m sure you’re not at all shocked by that obvious statement).

Pepsi NEXT has 60 calories in a can and boasts real cola taste.  I can still taste that sugar substitute flavor that you get in diet colas, but to be expected, its a bit more subtle.  This stuff can be guzzled a lot easier than regular Pepsi.  Carbonation doesn’t bite as hard with Pepsi NEXT.  I’m more of a Wild Cherry Pepsi guy myself and when this stuff goes into Wild Cherry Pepsi NEXT territory, I’m all over it.  Any soda drinkers out there? Share your thoughts if you’re tried Pepsi NEXT.

Oops, just read the little card that came with the package.  “Congratulations on being one of the first 100 people in America to taste Pepsi NEXT!”  The rest of the country will get theirs “later this month”.  It’s March 22nd so any day now.  When you have your taste, come back to GrubGrade and tell us what you think.

50 comments on “Pepsi NEXT: Real Cola Taste, 60% Less Sugar

  1. Josh says:

    Huge Diet Pepsi drinker (I should stop) but I’ll be trying this when it comes out…unless you want to send some my way :)

  2. Christina says:

    Ah, bugger. I really wanted this to be good. Diet Pepsi is okay, but when I am hungover, I can drink nothing other than full calorie Pepsi from a fountain in a styrofoam cup. I would have liked a calorie-free substitute for my bad habit.

    On another note: Do you remember Pepsi Jazz? That was the weirdest soda. My ex paired it with Cyclone liquor…

  3. Michael says:

    They had this in a cafe at my college today… I really liked it. I’m a big fan of Diet Pepsi and this tasted like a more wholesome version of that.

  4. bigthal says:

    The farm store down the street has been selling 12 packs for the last week.

  5. Carebear says:

    Must be nice. I can’t wait to try it.

  6. Noodlez says:

    I just got home from the market and they had a big display with this stuff so being curious I figured I should grab this. I currently have a 12 pack getting cool so I can test it. However my 12pack wasn’t packaged near as nice so I am jealous.

  7. Rodzilla says:

    I just spotted this at CVS, I don’t really care to try it though. I can’t see it sticking around – diet drinkers don’t want to add the calories, regular drinkers don’t want to sacrifice the taste.

    • Manavee says:

      This is the correct analysis. This is why all of the previous iterations of this soda have failed.

      • Lindsay says:

        Do they still make soft drinks like this with Splenda?

        • Bridget says:

          This cola contains splenda – sucralose. Pepsi One is sweetened exclusively with sucralose, while Pepsi Next is the frankenstein of all pepsis: containing sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, AND high fructose corn syrup. I like the taste but quite frankly I’m more than a little scared by the combination of artificial sweeteners, why do they need so many in one drink? Might as well go diet if you’re already going to be glugging down this drink, since the only thing about Pepsi Next that doesn’t make it diet is the HFCS.

          I’ll stick to my soda-free lifestyle. Maybe once in a while when I have a self-destructive sweet tooth that cannot be tamed with chocolate.

    • wenkie says:

      @rodzilla – I completely agree with your thought – “diet drinkers don’t want the calories and regular don’t want to sacrifice the taste” – This is a concept that has filed time and time again for soda companies.

      As a side note – I am a Diet Coke person, but really like Pepsi Max for its richer cola flavor. Give it a try Diet Coke/Pepsi fans!

  8. Scrape says:

    It’s half-caf for soda. Not a terrible idea, but still kind of defeats the purpose. The only diet soda I can tolerate is Diet Dr. Pepper or fresca, but even that has the aftertaste, just a bit more subtle. I’m waiting to see if Stevia ever makes it into soda. Only trouble is, you get the sweet without the caloric intake, so your body still wants the sweet and the calories, so you just end up eating chocolate anyways.

    • Josh says:

      “THE WAIT IS OVER! You have to drink it to believe it” Lol, not sure where you live, but I’ve seen this Zevia stuff at Whole Foods and Sprouts, it’s made with Stevia. http://www.zevia.com/. Their Dr. Zevia is a pretty good knockoff, but as you mentioned about Diet Dr. Pepper, Zevia still has a subtle artificial sugar taste.

  9. Brandon says:

    I bought it a week ago, and I prefer it over regular Pepsi. But, I prefer the old Coke C2 over Pepsi Next. I’d love to see a Mt.Dew Next.

  10. TheWarden says:

    I remember Coke C2 (the midpoint between regular and diet)… didn’t Pepsi make their version at the same time?

    If not, then I guess this is a new product.

    I would pay $ for that sweet box though.

  11. Ryan says:

    Pepsi did make their own version of C2 and it was really tasty. Hell I thought C2 was also tasty and far better then it’s full sugar counterpart.

    One thing I don’t like is the can doesn’t really look any different from regular pepsi. which could cause a confusion with the various products. Something similar like that happened the first year throwback came out where the color of the cans was the same and really didn’t jump out to consumers.

    Oh, hey Ryan… can you tell us if it’s corn syrup or real sugar?

  12. Tyler M says:

    I was actually one of the product testers for this. I took a survey and they sent me 3 cans of the stuff over a year ago in plain silver cans with no logos. I thought it was pretty good and couldn’t tell much of a difference.

  13. Rickdotfeltdotcom says:

    This is delicious. Saw it in a 20oz bottle at Wegmans and had to try it. When I see it in 12 packs I will fill a truck bed full of them

  14. kikurage says:

    “Next” sounds very good. I would try new pepsi released.

  15. jai says:

    Soda is bad for you so at least they make it half bad now.

  16. Mike N says:

    [Geek humor alert!]

    Did they name it NeXT as a tribute to Steve Jobs?

  17. Brian_C says:

    @Scrape: There are Stevia-sweetened sodas available now. Zevia is one of the older lines. They are hit-or-miss, but for someone who enjoys diet sodas I appreciate being able to sidestep aspartame and their ilk.

  18. Steve says:

    I saw these at my local grocery store today. They had them out for 2/$1 so I got 2 bottles to try. Drinking one now, it’s not bad. Better than diet pepsi for sure. I think it’s a good alternative for those that want less calories than the normal pepsi but dislike the taste of Diet Pepsi

  19. Marie says:

    Does anyone remember Pepsi Free? It was offered in the late 80′s, “free” coming from the fact that it did not contain caffeine, and the only drink my parents would keep around the house. My favorite (and only) Pepsi that I would drink now is Pepsi Throwback – unfortunately many grocery stores either do not carry it anymore or only carry the 12 packs. If I do drink soda, I personally prefer drinking regular sugar instead of HFCS.

  20. TJ says:

    I’ve been pretty happy with Pepsi Max for a while, I think they use sucralose (splenda) in addition to aspartame for that one.

  21. isny says:

    If this is the same thing as the Pepsi NEX they have in Japan, it’s going to be pretty terrible. I had to hunt to find normal Pepsi in Japan due to how bad NEX was, as they pretty much have phased out normal Pepsi in favour of the newer one.

  22. [...] Other Pepsi Next reviews: Phoood Grub Grade [...]

  23. lz says:

    Maybe if they had Blue Rose from Tiger and Bunny promote this in the US like they did in Japan, it’d sell more.

  24. sammie says:

    If you really want to know what the new flavor enhancers really are google pepsico and senomyx !!

  25. calvin says:

    First thing I did was read the label. Three kinds of artificial sweeteners in it, and that’s in addition to HFCS. Each can is a regular chemistry lab. As far as taste, I don’t know because I refuse to drink the stuff. Ever tried Sierra Mist with REAL sugar, great stuff, and yes I understand some people have to drink diet.

  26. Ron N says:

    I actually think Pepsi Max tastes just like Pepsi with no after taste. I am guessing Pepsi is doing this in response to Dr Pepper Bold 10 calorie drink. I say go with Max, the can looks manlier and I think it tastes as close to Pepsi as you can get for a diet.

  27. Squeeze says:

    I tried this drink yesterday and I love the flavor. It taste so much better than regualar pepsi. I drink diet pepsi so this drink was actually better. I was going to switch until I found out that it has aspartane also, so I may as well stick with the calorie free, (diet).

  28. Jenne says:

    sigh…really wish the cola companies would recognize that there is a huge market out there for NON CAFFEINATED sodas… sure, they all have their “caffeine free diet” versions………BUT THEY SUCK!! I’d love to see the “cherry” versions of the colas come out with a caffeine free version… there are people out there who drink sodas for the taste, not just the kick.

  29. Linda says:

    I love Pepsi NEXT! It’s delicious and you get the best of both worlds. It’s a great idea and fits the needs of many people, the ones who do not enjoy diet soda, but also want to watch their sugar and calorie intake!!

  30. Thyria Jones says:

    Saw it for the first time at Raley’s, here in Sacramento,Ca. Was on special 99cents for a 2 litre bottle. Grabbed 3. Really loved it, and yeah, would also jump on the Wild Cherry bandwagon! A 60% reduction is major and I think dieters and non dieters will reap benefits. A winnger!!

  31. c-dawgg says:

    I really don’t know why people who haven’t tried it are commenting on it.

    I just tried Pepsi Next.

    Sadly, it does not have “real cola taste.”

    It actually tastes more like Diet Pepsi but with a little more salt. The aspartame flavor is still there. It also retains something in it that gives it a harsh, dry sensation, just like Diet Pepsi.

    The only version of Pepsi that tastes like original Pepsi (pre HFCS) is the “Throwback” version made with sugar.

  32. Roger In Alabama says:

    My local Walmart had a big mid-isle display of Pepsi Next for 2.98 in the 12 count fridge pack. Bought one. Tastes better than diet Pepsi but not quite as good as Coke C2. I hope Coke brings back Coke C2 or something similar.

  33. Jeff Schmitz says:

    Pepsi MAX has no calories and tastes awesome – this is in response to Dr Pepper’s 10 calorie drink I imagine – cheers

  34. RDB says:

    Just got a can in the mail (I write reviews for a survey company). I would call myself a diet soda connoisseur. My kids and I tried the can after it had cooled. It smelled like full sugar (or HFCS) soda, it fizzed like it, and the first sip tasted like it. I was so excited. BUT, the aftertaste was bad, and 30 minutes later, I still can’t get the taste out of my mouth and throat. The only thing I liken it to is zinc lozenges or lollipops you eat when you have a cold, and how they leave a harsh lingering aftertaste. Plus you could really taste the chemicals. My teenager tried it twice and wouldn’t have any more. My 9-year-old loved it. Go figure.
    I think it couldn’t hurt to try it, especially if you want to cut calories, but I know that my family won’t buying any in the near future.

  35. Selly says:

    I absolutely am addicted to pepsi NEXT! its much more delicious then regular pepsi. i should cut down on soda….but its not that easy..:/

  36. sandra repech says:

    too many artificial sweetners!!! I love pepsi….but not this one…too.many health risks

  37. [...] and Paradise Mango July 15, 2012 By: Ryan Category: Food NewsBack in March I shared with you my impressions and pics of the soon-to-be-released-nationwide new drink from Pepsi called Pepsi NEXT.  Another package has [...]

  38. [...] 18, 2012 By: Ryan Category: First Impressions, Food NewsThe people at Pepsi sent me the latest Pepsi NEXT products:  Pepsi NEXT Paradise Mango and Pepsi NEXT Cherry Vanilla.  Pepsi NEXT is soda that [...]

  39. Rob Wilson says:

    Apparently they now have a Cherry Vanilla and Paradise Mango flavor. Yeah!

  40. Margie says:

    What irresponsible reporting. This product is garbage; just look at the poison in this product and the sodium. Dont drink this!

  41. Sue says:

    Certain sugar substitutes give me migraines. This gave me a nasty one, before I finished the drink.

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