Stevia switch creates an uproar

A switch by Vitaminwater (KO) to replace sugar with the artificial sweetener stevia has created an uproar on social media channels.

A search on Twitter or Facebook of the term stevia leads to a broad and spirited rant against the ingredient.

Execs at PepsiCo (PEP) are likely watching the reaction closely.

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Comments (23)
  • boston8b
    , contributor
    Comments (187) | Send Message
    The stuff is great in tea and coffee. Live and quite whining about so many minor things in life.
    11 Jun 2014, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • snoopy44
    , contributor
    Comments (1495) | Send Message
    agree with you 100%. Been using stevia in my coffee n tea for 10 years. Don't need more than a single drop per glass/cup. Bottle lasts for an entire year and I am not putting that crappy sugar in my body. Absolutely no aftertaste whatsoever. These anti-stevia people need to get a life. Stevia is a 100% NATURAL ingredient unlike that poison aspartane.


    11 Jun 2014, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • scarlo
    , contributor
    Comments (88) | Send Message
    also a Stevia fan. glad to see this change. encouraging.
    11 Jun 2014, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • Booban
    , contributor
    Comments (516) | Send Message
    I don't think it was smart for KO to do this for a purported health/energy drink when coke already has a bad rep for unhealthy drinks. It's well know that the body reacts to the taste of sugar and when it doesn't get sugar things could be detrimental for people consuming large amounts of it after, during, or before physical exertion.
    11 Jun 2014, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • believer18
    , contributor
    Comments (372) | Send Message
    maybe they should eat an apple
    stevia is as natural as fruit sugar!
    11 Jun 2014, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • Booban
    , contributor
    Comments (516) | Send Message
    That's not the point in this case, it's still not sugar and fakes out the body. Fine in small doses like coffee and tea, but the amounts in sports drinks are a lot more. The body expects energy, but doesn't get it. KO doesn't need this kind of marketing right now, they should have been a lot more cautious tampering with a product line that they desperately need to grow.
    11 Jun 2014, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Bryant
    , contributor
    Comments (7348) | Send Message
    "Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose it is attractive to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets."


    So it does contain glucose, which does produce energy. Not to mention, the low-carb people should love it.
    11 Jun 2014, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • Scenic Dr
    , contributor
    Comments (376) | Send Message
    Booban: if you're so against it, don't purchase the's as simple as that!
    11 Jun 2014, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • Rhinoish
    , contributor
    Comments (125) | Send Message
    Bleh, I hate the taste of Stevia, though not as much as artificial sweeteners its still terrible and even a little bit taints the whole drink. Probably makes sense for vitamin water to use it though, its not supposed to be a sugary drink.
    11 Jun 2014, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • markcc
    , contributor
    Comments (3314) | Send Message
    Are these "Breaking Bad" fans? LOL
    11 Jun 2014, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • dragon1978
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Stevia is not an "artificial" sweetener, any more than honey or agave is.
    11 Jun 2014, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • believer18
    , contributor
    Comments (372) | Send Message
    I like it!
    It tastes better than Splenda and it is not artificial
    11 Jun 2014, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • wam350
    , contributor
    Comments (173) | Send Message
    Good to here that most here are happy with the change, just hope the rest of the world will come aboard. .
    11 Jun 2014, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • Degenerate Gambler
    , contributor
    Comments (1001) | Send Message
    Good point. Stevia is from a plant, nothing artificial about it. I prefer the Cargill version called truvia, with no aftertaste. Stevia as a sweetener in cold drinks tastes great. The only issue is that it doesn't taste good when heated. I would love a diet coke stevia, with no sugar unlike the green coke in Argentina.


    I don't understand the consumer, they rant and rave against sugar but when KO switches to a healthier ingredient it angers them. Glad I don't have to deal with the consumer, that's what we pay KO's management for!
    11 Jun 2014, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • Warnin
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    The number angered is very small. These professional protestors found out long ago that concentrated complaints on sites the media monitors will get magnified out of all proportion.
    11 Jun 2014, 04:36 PM Reply Like
  • TEX1961
    , contributor
    Comments (296) | Send Message
    Some of the commenters here should do some research on Stevia. You will find that Stevia actually increases the bodies insulin sensitivity, which is the lead up to Diabetes. I have been using Stevia for several years and my A1-c levels have stabilized and come down slightly. The proof is in the blood tests. It does not cause the body to react the same as it does for sugar, I do the tests daily. My opinion is that Pepsi should get on the bandwagon with Stevia. I presently drink So-Be Lifewater and it has no after taste. Just my two cents worth.
    11 Jun 2014, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • Momintn
    , contributor
    Comments (6116) | Send Message
    Probably they think Stevia is the next sugar substitute, after being through so many already, and do not realize that Europe has been using it for years.
    And once people like something, they don't want it changed. Remember the complaints when they changed the formula for Coca-cola? They probably should keep the old products and put additional new products with Stevia. As much as I like Splenda in small amounts in coffee or tea, it makes soda too sweet in their cans.
    11 Jun 2014, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • bakersdad
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
    Stevia is not an artificial sweetener. It is a sugar substitute - big difference.
    11 Jun 2014, 02:03 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Bryant
    , contributor
    Comments (7348) | Send Message


    "Stevia (/ˈstiːvɪə/, /ˈstiːvjə/ or /ˈstɛvɪə/)[1][2][3][4] is a sweetener and sugar substitute made from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana. Stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, and some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations."


    This is not Saccharin, which is a coal tar derivative.
    11 Jun 2014, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • Warnin
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    I have looked at all the social media sites and find no "Uproar". For gosh sakes Cantor lost his set last night - that's news! A real reporter wold be looking into the consequences of that primary - stevia, give us a break! It's a non issue!
    11 Jun 2014, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3552) | Send Message
    Not sure why something called "VITAMIN" water had sugar in it in the first place


    I think stevia tastes better than sugar anyway
    11 Jun 2014, 08:08 PM Reply Like
  • MyCsPiTTa
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
    People sure do have a screwed-up idea of what is healthy and "natural", don't they?


    The "poison" aspartame, simply a combination of two amino acids we eat every day, has been used for almost 40 years, and undergone dozens upon dozens of rigorous trials during that time, none of which showed any ill effects on human health (excluding a couple of notoriously flawed studies).


    Stevia is relatively much newer, and has had very little study done on it. I personally think it only tastes marginally better.


    But Stevia comes from plants, so it's got to be OK for you, right? Not like plants could ever be poisonous or anything...


    Seems more like a case of ignorance is bliss for many people.
    12 Jun 2014, 06:30 AM Reply Like
  • aterosin
    , contributor
    Comments (523) | Send Message
    Stevia is a plant commonly used as a sweetener for hundreds of years in Brazil and Paraguay. It is easy to grow. I use a little stevia powder in all my homemade jams and grape juice because #1. it's natural and it is more easily digested and a healthier type of sugar than corn syrup or cane sugar. #2 It's easy to use. #3 it is a better substitute than Splenda (aspartame) which is an addictive, exitoneurotic, carcinogenic, genetically engineered drug and adjuvant that damages your cells mitochondria. Moreover, Dr. Janet Hall, another famous advocate against aspartame, shares on her website that all artificial sweeteners create an artificial need for more sweetness. My goal is to make as many homecanned items with NO SWEETENER - Do we really need sugar in our ketchup? This summer my recipe with have no sweeteners.


    Learn more:
    12 Jun 2014, 08:58 AM Reply Like
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