Thanks to my mother's keen shopping eye, I got a hold of an early release of a can sized bottle of Pepsi Next. Though I got the beverage on Saturday, I felt like it would be better to release this review today to coincide with the official, nationwide release. Like we told you in the past news report on Friday, Pepsi Next is attempting to conquer the currently empty mid-calorie cola market. While it's hard to figure out what market segment this cola is really for, it'll never go anywhere if it doesn't taste good.
On first glance of the labeling and subtle design changes could possibly fool people into thinking that they're buying a traditional Pepsi. While it is a different shade of blue and the word Next is clearly there, the design is pretty consistent. The biggest area of difference is the carb, sugar, and calorie departments, where traditionally diet killing totals have been transformed into borderline sensible numbers.
Upon looking at the ingredient listings, it becomes quite clear that Pepsi Next is one quite conflicted cola. The ingredients combine to look like a regular cola and diet cola simultaneously. The second ingredient behind the water is high fructose corn syrup, which is quite alarming. All the way down near the bottom, is the dreaded, baby killing, aspartame. It remains to be seen whether having a smaller dosage of both is better for your body than a fully loaded pill of one or the other, but I've come to deduce that it's all a crap shoot with sodas regardless.
Moving along to what really matters, the taste. Pouring my tiny bottle into a ice filled glass, I noticed that the cola resembled and bubbled just like any cola I've ever poured. Ripping into a full figured sip, I was presented with a very smooth body. Next doesn't have the bite most colas have, lacking the overly carbonated texture most exhibit. I honestly barely noticed the artificial sweetener bite that most diet sodas have as well. For the better part of the beverage I was pretty much fooled into thinking I was drinking a full calorie regular beverage. Overall this is a very drinkable soda, with smooth, not overpowering carbonation and sweet, sugary flavor.
While it remains to be seen if Pepsi Next has a true market, with it's kinda fatty, kinda diet ideals, I can say for sure, this pop won't fail due to flavor problems. Three stars for Pepsi Next.
Pepsi Next: 3/5