Replace High Fructose Corn Syrup With Cane Sugar in Pepsi-Cola Products

Target: Ramon L. Laguarta, CEO, PepsiCo

Goal: Replace high fructose corn syrup with real sugar in the standard Pepsi-Cola recipe.

High-fructose corn syrup (H.F.C.S) is the cheaper and highly processed alternative to traditional sugar. It came to be in the U.S. around the 1970s as a more cost-effective sweetener than plain sugar, its imported and less processed counterpart. The rise in popularity throughout the boom of mass consumed convenience foods has placed H.F.C.S. in most widely available packaged products that contain some sort of sweetener. While experts have not reached a consensus about all the dangers of this compound, many agree processed food is the least healthy option, especially when consumed in quantities found in so many foods with H.F.C.S.

Pepsi, like other soda producers in the U.S., use high fructose corn syrup as the primary sweetener of their drinks; we are one of the few countries to do this. With the rise of H.F.C.S. controversy, Pepsi released in 2009 what was then called “Pepsi Throwback,” original Pepsi but with real sugar. This release was met with major success and led to other brands under the Pepsi umbrella also to see real sugar varieties. Despite popularity, real sugar Pepsi production was dialed back though it is still available in select markets today and known as “Pepsi with Real Sugar.” Pepsi, however, should run with this success and make real sugar sodas the standard again in their home country.

There is no reason the U.S., the home country of PepsiCo, should continue prioritizing H.F.C.S. in their drinks. The consumer cost change has been found to be negligible, and we have seen the general public is open to the idea of a real sugar soda market. Finally, while the science behind different types of sugars are still being debated, we do know minimizing processed foods in our diets is ultimately beneficial.

Sign the petition to encourage Pepsi-Cola to make real sugar the sweetener of choice in their various soda brands.


Dear CEO Laguarta,

Pepsi-Cola’s brand is engrained across world cultures but has a particularly nostalgic foundation in the United States. Everyone knows someone from a “Pepsi household” where your products are a part of families and their homes coast to coast. When “Pepsi Throwback” was released, soda fans went crazy for this “pure” alternative to the long-established chemically modified  version containing unfamiliar ingredients whose origins few people understand.

No one doubts PepsiCo’s success or the success of “Pepsi Throwback” and subsequent versions of this and other drinks made with real sugar. High fructose corn syrup, conversely, is not so popular, especially as healthier options take the forefront of consumers’ choices in food purchases. This release presents a prime opportunity to reinvent soda in the U.S. and return to soft drinks as an emotional experience for consumers instead of just packaged imposters created in a lab. You alone could turn things around in the domestic market.

The people invest greatly in your fizzy beverages, so please invest back into your followers. We urge you to reintroduce real sugar as the standard recipe of your packaged soft drinks.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mike Mozart

One Comment

  1. High fructose corn syrup needs to replaced in ALL beverages. It is a cheap and dangerous product. It truly IS worse than sugar, plus it probably carries the damaging glyphosates that are used in growing the corn (Roundup ready). Studies have shown that this is one product that should be eliminated from your diet.

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