THE FOOD AND DRINK MANUFACTURERS ARE LISTENING AND WILL ACT WHEN MEDICAL AND SCIENTIFIC FACTS ABOUT HEALTHY FOODS RESONATE WITH CONSUMERS…THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP IS NOT A HEALTHY SWEETENER…THE BODY’S INSULIN RESPONSE IS LIMITED AND HENCE THERE WILL NOT BE A NATURAL FEELING OF BEING FULL…PEPSI AND COKE NEED TO ROLL OUT MORE AND MORE SUGAR-SWEETENED DRINKS…
Pepsi-Cola’s issue of a second limited run of “Throwback” Pepsi and Mountain Dew in retro-styled containers is part of a trend to once again sweeten beverages with sugar, said the head of the Sugar Association in Washington, D.C.
“I’m excited that Pepsi’s making the move and testing the water with consumers,” said Andrew Briscoe, association president and CEO.
Pepsi last issued the sugar-sweetened Throwback containers of pop in March, he said. Now it’s providing them from Dec. 28-Feb. 22.
“I haven’t heard of anyone who’s tried the Throwback product who hasn’t liked it or enjoyed it more than what they were used to drinking,” said Briscoe, who was visiting Idaho.
Gatorade and Snapple are also among the companies moving into sugar, he said.
“A lot of products are looking at us,” Briscoe said.
Briscoe says the sugar-sweetened beverages taste better than those sweetened by high-fructose corn syrup, which is still the standard beverage sweetener in the U.S.
High-fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, initially took over the market decades ago because it was less expensive than sugar, he said. But that gap has narrowed in recent years, he said. And at one point in the past year, the price advantage all but disappeared.
In addition to taste, the movement toward natural foods has likely spurred companies to look at using sugar. Further, Hispanics are accustomed to pop that’s sweetened with sugar, he said.
And Hispanics accounted for half the nation’s growth from 2000-2006, reports the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2050, they’re projected to comprise more than 24 percent of the U.S. population.
But the U.S. is one of the few major countries that sweetens most of its beverages with HFCS, rather than sugar, Briscoe said.
So he hopes that Pepsi decides to issue the sugar-sweetened version of Pepsi and Mountain Dew for much longer periods.
“Obviously they’re appealing to people who are looking for better taste,” he said.
One person who enjoys the taste is Idaho sugar beet grower Jeff Henry, of Eden. He was enjoying a can of Pepsi Throwback sweetened with sugar the afternoon of Jan. 6.
“I like the retro,” Henry said.
And he’s hopeful the trend will continue and companies will sweeten more of their beverages with sugar.
“If it continues … it definitely would create more market,” Henry said. “Anything you can get to create more market, that helps the sugar producers.”
In fact, continuing strong demand for sugar has helped bolster prices for refined sugar in the past year or so, said Jack Roney, director of economics and policy analysis for the American Sugar Alliance in Arlington, Va.
And as more companies sweeten their beverages with sugar, that can only help.
“I think the consumers are perceiving HFCS as less desirable,” he said.