NEW YORK - When it comes to the calories in diet soda, Dr Pepper thinks 10 is the new zero.
Starting next month, the country's No. 3 soft drink company plans to roll out 10-calorie versions of five of its biggest soda brands: 7-Up, Sunkist, Canada Dry, RC Cola and A&W Root Beer. The drinks are an extension of Dr Pepper Ten, which was launched last year as a better-tasting alternative.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. says its 10-calorie sweetener mix has just enough high-fructose corn syrup to overcome reservations people might have about the taste of diet drinks.
With soda frequently blamed for fueling obesity rates, executives at Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are also convinced producing better-tasting diet sodas can reverse a steady decline in soda consumption.
The drinks will hit shelves nationwide at select outlets in January, and the company says one of its biggest ever national ad campaigns will follow in March.