REVIEW: Pepsi Next

Pepsi Next

Update: Pepsi recently reformulated Pepsi Next to not include aspartame. This review is about the original version with aspartame.

Pepsi Next contains a veritable who’s who of sweeteners. The latest addition to the Pepsi line includes the high fructose corn syrup in regular Pepsi, the aspartame in Diet Pepsi, the sucralose in Pepsi One, and the acesulfame potassium in Pepsi Max.

So if you’re someone who yells, “High fructose corn syrup is evil!” or “Aspertame is the Devil!” or “Sucralose will destroy mankind!” or “What the hell is acesulfame potassium?”, Pepsi Next is not for you.

The combining of these sweeteners into Pepsi Next makes it sound as if Dr. Frankenstein had a part in developing it by collecting ingredients from other Pepsi varieties to bring to life a new one.

Or, maybe, he tried to bring back from the dead a discontinued Pepsi, like Crystal Pepsi, Holiday Spice Pepsi, or Pepsi Blue.

(Sidenote: Dear Pepsi: Please bring back Crystal Pepsi, Holiday Spice Pepsi, and Pepsi Blue, even if it’s for a limited time. I would totally play 7 Minutes in Heaven with current PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to make this happen. Heck, I would also play 7 Minutes in Heaven with her predecessor, Steven Reinemund to bring them back.)

So what happens when Pepsi combines four popular sweeteners in the processed food world into one beverage? According to Pepsi, we get a beverage with real cola taste and 60 percent less sugar than regular Pepsi. But could I see myself replacing my beloved Pepsi Max for Pepsi Next? Also, if it’s discontinued, would I be willing to play 7 Minutes in Heaven with whomever the PepsiCo CEO is a decade from now?

Although it contains three artificial sweeteners and has 60 percent fewer calories than regular Pepsi, it’s really hard to taste anything “diet” about Pepsi Next. But it’s not quite like regular Pepsi; it’s less syrupy and smoother. There are also differences in flavor between Pepsi Next and original Pepsi. I thought Pepsi Next had a slightly stronger cola flavor and, for some reason, my taste buds perceived a hint of lemon, which made me think my taste buds were broken, but a second opinion agreed with me.

Maybe it was my tongue hoping Pepsi brings back Pepsi Twist.

(Sidenote: Dear Pepsi: I don’t really miss Pepsi Twist, so I would not be willing to play 7 Minutes in Heaven with any PepsiCo executive to bring it back.)

Pepsi Chart

Overall, Pepsi Next is quite good. However, I don’t think it’ll replace my beloved Pepsi Max because my go-to soda has no sugar, more caffeine, and I prefer its flavor. I also don’t see it taking the place of Diet Pepsi as my backup go-to soda. Pepsi Next is slightly better tasting, but my taste buds have long gotten used to the flavor of Diet Pepsi, so I’m willing to sacrifice taste to drink something with no calories and sugar. I think many Diet Pepsi drinkers will probably feel the same.

So who is Pepsi Next for?

I think Pepsi Next mainly appeals to are those who want to cut back or stop drinking regular Pepsi because their doctors advised them to or they’re losing their hearing from all people yelling at them, “High fructose corn syrup is evil!” So if you’re one of those people, Pepsi Next could be the Nicorette Gum of Pepsi colas.

(Sidenote: Dear Pepsi: Pepsi Next is good, but if it’s discontinued, I won’t miss it. So the CEO of PepsiCo ten years from now is safe from the possibility of being subjected to seven awkward minutes with me in a closet.)

(Disclaimer: I received a free six-pack of Pepsi Next from the nice PR firm that represents Pepsi. It also came with a card that said I was one of the first 100 people in America to taste Pepsi Next, but I’m not sure that’s accurate since they’ve been testing it in limited locations over the past year or so.)

(Nutrition Facts – 1 can/12 ounces – 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Other Pepsi Next reviews:
Grub Grade
Fast Food Geek

Item: Pepsi Next
Price: FREE
Size: 12 ounces
Purchased at: Received from nice PR folks
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Quite good. 60 percent less sugar and calories. Smoother than other Pepsi varieties. Tastes more like regular Pepsi than Diet Pepsi. Playing 7 Minutes in Heaven to bring back discontinued Pepsi flavors. Pepsi Max. If you love consuming a bunch of artificial sweeteners at one time, you’ll love this.
Cons: Spending seven awkward minutes with me in a closet. If you hate sweeteners other than pure cane sugar, you won’t like it. Not really interested in bringing back Pepsi Twist.

113 thoughts to “REVIEW: Pepsi Next”

  1. Why can’t they just add a whole less sugar and forget the artificial crap? I don’t want ‘diet’, I just want less sugar. Why is that so hard?

    1. Regular Pepsi Next is the best Pepsi on the market,every sines Pepsi Next has be on the market I have been drinking it ever since I tasted Pepsi Next every day.
      Pepsi Next!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jerry Casey Pepsi Next.the best Low sugar drink on the market.Some stores say they are going to quit selling Pepsi Next well they have lost lost lost lost lost lost lost a customer!!!!I Will only go to store they will net sell Pepsi Next every time I go to small stores an markets they do not have on the shelf’s and I ask why they say have never heard of Pepsi Next..
      Pepsi needs to promote Pepsi Next to more store and small markets.They will sell out every time it is put on there shelf’s.

  2. I drank Diet Coke for 25 yrs and thought it tasted great. I only stopped after reading about aspartame and deciding I wasn’t comfortable consuming it anymore. But I had no problem with its flavor. So Pepsi Next holds no allure for me, its artificially sweetened and has a ton more calories than Diet Coke. Does it taste better? Who cares, Diet Coke tastes just fine. Why haven’t Coke or Pepsi simply released a version that’s sweetened by Stevia? That I would’ve been interested in trying. I’ve been drinking Truvia sweetened kool-aid for a year now.

  3. If you love consuming a bunch of artificial sweeteners at one time, you’ll love this. (This literally made me laugh out loud, I think I even clapped my hands.)

    Cons: Spending seven awkward minutes with me in a closet. If you hate sweeteners other than pure cane sugar, you won’t like it. Not really interested in bringing back Pepsi Twist. Well played Marvo, you made me laugh! I’m not sure if I’ll try this Frankedrink or not, I’ve been getting more and more freaked out by artificial sweetners lately, and I even bought and tried some soda sweetened with “supposedly” natural sweeteners just to compare. I am kinda hooked on Diet Pepsi and I’m a little afraid of the long detox process if I give this stuff up. Especially considering I nicknamed it “Nectar of the Gods,” and I swill it all day long. But, I admit I am intrigued by the concept of Pepsi Next, I just wish they had tried different sweetners. Agave nectar or Xylitol, anyone??

  4. STILL tastes like Diet to me!!! They can’t cover up the taste of aspartame and whatever those other things are!!!

  5. Pepsi Next is gross! High Fructose Corn Syrup, YUK! Big dissapointment. Tastes ultra chemical.

  6. Pepsi Next – Quite good, little to no aftertaste and closest taste to Pepsi than Pepsi itself – Good Job

  7. So many people around me were going on a low sugar to no-sugar diets. The pains of making a sugar free birthday cake is so fun -_-. As the low-sugar/sugar free craze around me continued I had to find an alternative soda to load into my work-place’s mini fridge.

    We had diet soda but really the after-taste was a turn off to many and it just so happened that there was a news report on how diet soda was worse for you than the regular sodas. Really I couldn’t care less as long as there was Sprite and an occasional Sprite Zero along with a Seirra Mist here and there all was right between me and the soda fountain (I’d be better if the Sprite Remixes made a return).

    The claim of Pepsi Next having less sugar intrigued me enough to buy a case for the mini-fridge and give a can a try myself. I know my sodas, Pepsi Next didn’t fool me into thinking I was drinking a normal Pepsi like all of the ads always claim when they make some alteration to the recipe, but I was pleased to see it didn’t have that diet taste. Slightly sweeter than the original, I felt like I was drinking a RC Cola.

    I would still like to see what it would be like if they would just use less sugar vs the sweetener mixture. Overall I can see this soda eventually becoming discontinued as Pepsi/Coke made with coconut water is quickly put on then removed from the shelves for their next bright idea.

  8. I Don’t Care for this Pepsi, its nothing Compared to the Original Pepsi One.

    bring back the original Pepsi One !

    1. Hi, I loved Pepsi Next. The tast is great, I have enjoyed Pepsi for many years, my next favorite is Pepsi Max. I wish they used something else rather then Aspartame… like Coke is starting to use Splenda in their diet coke and it taste pretty good. In anycase I loved it! Thanks

  9. It’s okay. Definitely has a slight diet aftertaste, a little lemony. I still think Pepsi Max is better.

  10. I just tried Pepsi Next today. 1st let me say that I’m not a big soda drinker and when I do, I drink diet rootbeer or diet orange soda (those taste like regular w/out the sugar). So I was intrigued when i saw this new Pepsi. I scanned the back label searching to see which artificial sugars were used to replace the lack of normal cola sweetener. I saw there were a multitude of artificial sweeteners and was curious as to how it wud taste. I don’t cate for Diet Pepsi because I feel the flavor is lacking, and I don’t care for regular Pepsi because its far too sweet. But when I tried Pepsi Next, I was pleasantly surprised! I really enjoyed the taste of it. To me ut tasted just like regular Pepsi without the super thick wayyyy too sugary taste I dislike about it
    I didn’t taste any artifical sweetner taste, but I’m used to that taste so maybe that’s why I didn’t notice. Overall its very good. On a scale from 1-10 id say id give it a 10. They found a good ratio of sweeteners for the soda. Inwond drink it again though. Lol. I still prefer drinking diet soda occasionally to get my soda fix with no added alories instead of the few from Pepsi Next. Its a cool product for ppl who like soda. I do wonder if it will catch on tho, cuz ppl who like diet have their calorie free favorites already as do ppl who drink regular soda. There’s just so much competition.

    1. Tried pepsi Next. Actually tastes more like Coke than pepsi. Wife like Diet pepsi (which I dont like). Does anyone else feel the same way.

      1. i feel the same! only cola i like is diet coke. that’s why i like pepsi next, i hate all other pepsi’s colas.

  11. next is healther than pepsi 1 because pespsi 1 is Heavily realiant of artificial sweeteners (which led to fat) while next uses a little suger and a litter A.S.

  12. it does taste better than diet and pepsi max…but it’s certainly not pepsi. there’s 60% less sugar, and well, it tastes much less sweeter than pepsi. go figure. and it also still has a bit of the nasty aftertaste i get with the diet/max drinks. so all in all, false advertisement!

  13. I like pepsi max,pepsi next but I like pepsi one the best.I’m 67 years old I have drank pepsi over 50 years.THANK YOU

  14. I drank the Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla flavor, and I initially loved the flavor, not too sweet, but not too diety either.. i hate Pepsi Max, cant stand the overly artificial sweetner flavor.. but about 30 minutes after I drank this drink, I got SOOOOO sick.. I started to shake like crazy, sweat, got sweaty and foggy headed. I don’t react this way to any other caffeine. I wasn’t sure what made me sick, but the second time I drank this it did the same thing, so I know its the drink. I am not sure what made me react, but I can only assume its the mixture of all the different artificial sweetners in this drink. I did like the taste, but cant drink it unfortunately..

  15. On occasion I want to indulge in a “regular” Pepsi, but because of the calorie count I had to make it once every other week or less. I tried Pepsi Next and think it has a taste very similar to regular Pepsi without the syrupy part. I’ve replaced my regular Pepsi indulgences with Pepsi Next and now can even allow myself one can a week. I had a friend try it who’s a diet Pepsi fan and she liked it and found that both her and her regular Pepsi loving husband liked it. Try Pepsi Next, you probably won’t be disappointed.

    On a side note, I miss crystal Pepsi too!

  16. Nothing compares to Pepsi One!! Where is it? Is it gone forever? Can’t find it anywhere!! Please say it isn’t so 🙁

  17. PepsiNext tastes exactly like you would expect. Not as good as regular Pepsi, but better than diet. There is definitely a little of that nasty “diet” aftertaste. But I found after my 5th or 6th can, I was much less bothered by the taste.

    But I agree with the other other posters. Why don’t the soda companies just simply put LESS sugar in the drinks? Instead of trying to compensate for reducing the real sugar by adding the fake sugar.

    Sure, the drink will be a little rougher and more carbonationy,( like cola-flavored seltzer water I’m guessing ) but that’s much preferable to a gross fake aftertaste.

    1. Kirrily, I would also like to see pepsi sweetened with stevia, the other artificial sweteners give my husband very loose motions every day he has one. He is diabetic, so it has to be sutiable.

  18. I have been waiting for a soda with less sugar. I thought Pepsi Next was going to be that soda. The TV commercial said it contained 60% less sugar, so I assumed it was a sugar based drink containing no artificial sweeteners. One taste and I new I was wrong. I read the label and saw it contains artificial sweeteners and high fructose syrup, both of which I do not want. The fact that it contains no sugar makes the statement “60% less sugar” a misleading lie, since it actually contains no sugar.
    Everything I hate about modern sodas has been combined into this new monster, which wouldn’t be so bad if the advertising weren’t so misleading.

    1. The original Pepsi Next (which this review is about) had aspartame, but they’ve recently reformulated it without it.

  19. I really love this Pepsi Next- I hope it is able to stick around. I am one of those people who mixed real and diet at the fountain so that I don’t feel so bad about the calories, but also, so that I don’t feel so bad about the diet (aspartame), thus this is perfect for me and in a can! Yahoo!- Wish it were at the fountain so that I would not have to mix and could be requested at drive thrus.

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