Pepsi's mid-calorie soda aims to win back drinkers

NEW YORK - Pepsi hopes to win back drinkers with a compromise.

Some people don't like the calories in regular soda, but loathe the taste of diet. So, PepsiCo Inc. is rolling out "Pepsi Next," a mid-calorie drink that's half the calories of regular Pepsi at 60 calories per can.

The cola, which is slated to hit store shelves nationally by the end of March, is Pepsi's biggest product launch in years. It's likely to revive the cola wars that had become flat in recent years as Coke, Pepsi and others failed to innovate.

The drink is the latest attempt to stem declining soda sales as people increasingly move away from sugary drinks to water and other lower-calorie beverages because of health concerns.

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