The formula for Pepsi has changed over the more than 100 years they have been making it.
Soda companies like PepsiCo test different formulas and do market research to find what customers like the most.
But, in this article, I will cover whether Pepsi has changed its formula over time, and within the last 5 to 10 years.
The original Pepsi included some ingredients that are no longer in Pepsi, such as pepsin, which is how Pepsi got its name.
Interestingly, the ingredients in Pepsi vary depending on what country you buy it in.
Below, I will cover why Pepsi changes their formula from time to time and how the ingredients in Pepsi differ based on where in the world you buy it.
Why Did Pepsi Change Their Formula?
Pepsi is one of the most popular drinks, and is made by PepsiCo which is the second biggest soda company in the world. Because Pepsi is so popular it seems a bit off that PepsiCo would change the formula.
So, here’s a summary of the reasons why Pepsi changes their formula.
Pepsi has stated that some of their customers prefer Pepsi sweetened with sugar instead of corn syrup.
And is another main reason Pepsi is sweetened with either sugar or corn syrup.
A person on Reddit has stated they reached out to Pepsi support. Pepsi support responded with the following:
“…as a standard practice, we routinely evaluate our formulas and tweak our ingredients”.
The ingredients in Pepsi differ based on where you buy it
On the official Pepsi website, they list the ingredients in their sodas.
There are minor differences between regions. In business terminology, they are called different markets.
Here’s a table that shows the difference in ingredients between Pepsi from the USA, the UK, and Mexico.
|Carbonated water||Carbonated water||Carbonated water|
|High fructose corn syrup||Sugar||Sugar|
|Caramel color||Color (caramel E150d)||Caramel color|
|Sugar||Acid (phosphoric acid)||Phosphoric acid|
|Phosphoric acid||Flavorings (including caffeine)||Caffeine|
Pepsi, made in the USA, contains both sugar and corn syrup.
Pepsi also sells a Pepsi that is specifically made with real sugar.
It’s called ‘Pepsi-Cola Made With Real Sugar.’
And is available at Walmart and on Amazon.
There is a minor taste difference that is noticeable between Pepsi sweetened with sugar and Pepsi sweetened with corn syrup.
Here’s a video where a person compares:
- Pepsi 1893 Original Cola
- Pepsi made with real sugar
- Pepsi made with corn syrup
In the USA corn grows very well and is the main ingredient used to make high fructose corn syrup.
Therefore, it’s straightforward to source, and as a result, in some cases is easier to source than sugar at certain times and in different countries.
Pepsi has also stated the corn syrup is much easier to work with than real sugar because it’s in liquid form.
Because of that, it’s easier to mix into the syrup used in Pepsi.
This appears to be a big reason why Pepsi in the USA contains high fructose corn syrup and sugar. Or, it is sometimes made with only high fructose corn syrup.
What Happened to Original Pepsi?
The original Pepsi had a unique formula.
While the original formula is a secret, the Pepsi you buy nowadays has different ingredients.
Here is why the Pepsi formula changed and what happened to the original Pepsi.
It’s more than likely PepsiCo still has the list of authentic ingredients.
The remake of the original, called Pepsi 1893 Original Cola, is almost identical in color and taste to the Pepsi recipe now.
However, it no longer contains pepsin.
More about pepsin and why it was used as an ingredient in Pepsi.
Why pepsin was taken out of the Pepsi formula?
Pepsi was originally invented in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources had said that they are unaware of when exactly pepsin was removed from the Pepsi formula.
Interestingly, sodas were initially created as medicine and something that helps with digestion.
It’s a fact that sodas were sold at drug stores from soda fountains.
Soft drinks like Pepsi were also invented to help digestion and were seen as good for a person’s health.
For this reason, the digestive enzyme – pepsin, was added.
But, over time, the perception of sodas changed. And they are no longer considered healthy food as much.
Pepsi without pepsin likely had almost the exact same sales.
And based on market research, Pepsi found their customers liked Pepsi just as much when it did not contain pepsin.
So it didn’t make sense to continue adding it.
Why Does Pepsi Taste Different?
The taste of cans of soda like Pepsi and Diet Pepsi is almost identical wherever you buy it from.
But, in certain regions, Pepsi is made with slightly different ingredients that does create a noticeable taste difference.
Below, is the main reason why Pepsi tastes different and what causes regular Pepsi to taste different from time to time.
The formula for Pepsi changes slightly from time to time, according to Pepsi.
They frequently test slightly different formulas while keeping them close enough to the Pepsi taste that it isn’t so noticeable.
Therefore, it’s likely the Pepsi you tried is a slightly different formula, or the Pepsi you tried is sweetened with corn syrup when previously the Pepsi in your region was sweetened with sugar. Or vice versa.