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Sales of Diet Soda Fall in Recent Years

Update Date: Dec 10, 2013 03:22 PM EST

When diet soda was first introduced into the market, its popularity quickly soared. Diet soda, which is often advertised to women, offered consumers the same taste as soda but with zero or low-calorie levels. However, in recent years, studies have repeatedly tied ingredients found in diet soda to dangerous health risks, such as cancer. Now, according to a new Wells Fargo study and data from other surveys, researchers found that the sales of diet soda have plummeted over the years.

"We are seeing a fundamental shift in consumer habits and behaviors,'' PepsiCo Inc. Chairman Indra Nooyi said according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Wells Fargo study found that recently, diet soda sales have started to fall and these numbers are falling faster than the sales of regular soda. Based on statistics provided by the Beverage Marketing Corporation, from 1990 to 2010, diet soda sales rose from 26 percent to 31 percent. However, the recent study found that in the time span of 52 weeks, ending on November 23, 2013, diet soda sales have fallen by 6.8 percent in dollars terms. The sales of regular soda during this same time fell by 2.2 percent.

In another survey by Mintel, researchers found that 34 percent of people from the age group of 18 to 36 reported that they consumed diet soda only as a treat and not a daily beverage. 46 percent of the people surveyed believed that artificially sweetened soda was unhealthy.

The main ingredients involved in making diet soda are aspartame, sucralose and acesultame potassium. The American Beverage Association has stressed that these chemicals have been tested repeatedly to ensure the safety of consumers. The association has support from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Aspartame was approved by the FDA in 1981 even though studies have tied it to cancer during the 1970s.

Whether or not these chemicals are safe to consume could be determined in future studies. For the meantime, the numbers show that diet soda is slowly losing its popularity.

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