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Coca-Cola, PepsiCo - Announce They Are To Introduce Healthy Drink

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo will introduce new carbonated drinks fortified with vitamins and minerals as a large number of people are turning away from traditional soda drinks for their alleged link to obesity. //

Soda business remains a $68 billion-industry in the US. However consumers are increasingly reaching for bottled water, sparkling juices and green tea drinks, reported the online edition of The New York Times.

In 2005, the amount of soda sold in the US dropped for the first time in recent history. Even the diet soda business has slowed.

The new offerings of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are Diet Coke Plus and Tava respectively and they will be promoted as "sparkling beverages".

The companies are not calling them soft drinks because people are turning away from traditional soda, which has been hurt in part by publicity about its link to obesity, the report said.

The idea of healthy soda is not entirely new. In 2004 Cadbury Schweppes caused a stir when it unveiled 7Up Plus, a low-calorie soda fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Last year, Cadbury tried to extend the healthy halo over its regular 7Up brand by labelling it "100 percent natural". But the company changed the label to "100 percent natural flavour" after complaints from a nutrition group that a product containing high-fructose corn syrup should not be considered natural -- and 7Up Plus floundered.

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