Pepsi Raw

Pepsi is testing a new product in the U.K., which it’s calling “Pepsi Raw.”  You gotta wonder what Madison Avenue genius came up with a name as unappetizing as “Pepsi Raw.”  Of course much of the world is so addicted to sweetened carbonated water that they could probably call it Monkey Spit and still sell millions of gallons of it–provided of course they still get the multi-million advertising budgets, celebrity spokespersons, etc.  Naturally, Pepsi Raw has been launched with a slick and hip ad campaign, featuring primarily beautiful naked women.

So what, you ask, is “Pepsi Raw”?

Well, this wonderful new concoction is an “all natural” version of Pepsi.  What makes it “all natural”, you ask?  Evidently the subsitution of sugar for high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

For the last 30 years or so, the soft drink industry has used cheap, taxpayer-subsidized corn syrup to sweeten its products.  This unhealthy, unnatural, obesity-inducing stuff, which these days is incorporated into seemingly every product on the supermarket shelf, has typically been about half as expensive as sugar.  Replacing sugar with HFCS has been very profitable for Pepsi and Coke.  A nation of grossly obese children is testimony to the effectiveness of it.

But what has motivated Pepsi to roll out “Pepsi Raw” is not any concern for the welfare of the children of the world, but rather an opportunity to tap into the increasing demand for “natural” products.  You see, the FDA recently announced that HFCS cannot be called a “natural” ingredient.  Sugar, of course, is entirely natural, even if drinking colored sugar water is not exactly healthy.  Et voila, Pepsi Raw, marketed as “all-natural, sugar-sweetened.”

Certainly replacing HFCS with sugar is a good thing, no matter what the product, but I can’t help but imagine millions of responsible Moms now filling their shopping carts with the new “all-natural” Pepsi Raw, so that little Junior and Susie can grow fat the all-natural way.

Grace and Peace.