The arrival of stevia, a new artificial sweetener approved by the FDA in December, will likely upend the fake-sugar market, the New York Times reports. Sweet ’N Low, Equal, and Splenda have fought to stalemate of sorts, but stevia brings a huge advantage: Because it comes from a plant, marketers can push it as a natural ingredient. To hammer home that point, stevia packets are green.
But the use of artificial sweeteners is also changing. Soft drinks are likely to come with a mix of sweeteners—including real sugar. Sodas made with only high fructose corn syrup and their “diet” counterparts that include only artificial sweeteners will yield to drinks that employ a subtler mix. “If you drink an orange soda in China, for example, it’s a blend of sugar and sweeteners,” the CEO of NutraSweet said. “That’s definitely what’s coming here.”