The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Yoplait Light to change sweeteners; will go from aspartame to sucralose

  • Print

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The maker of Yoplait Light is hoping a sweetener change can help bring back customers.

General Mills Inc. said Wednesday it plans to remove aspartame from its popular reduced-calorie yogurt in favour of another artificial sweetener, sucralose. Aspartame is better known by the brand names NutraSweet and Equal, while sucralose is the sweetener used in Splenda.

"We know that some consumers have concerns about aspartame, so this is a positive transition," General Mills CEO Ken Powell said in a phone interview.

Although sucralose is also an artificial sweetener, Powell said it has greater acceptance among consumers.

The change comes as General Mills struggles to fix its Yoplait business, which has been upended by the popularity of Greek yogurt and the move toward ingredients people feel are natural.

Last year, retail sales for Yoplait Light fell in the "low double digits," while full-calorie Yoplait showed improvement after General Mills replaced the high-fructose corn syrup in the brand with sugar, according to the company.

As for Yoplait Light, the Minneapolis-based company expects the reformulated cups to hit shelves by September.

Mike Siemienas, a General Mills spokesman, said the new cups will say "Now no aspartame" and still have around 90 calories. He said the company considered a number of alternatives after hearing from consumers that "they wanted a product that did not contain aspartame."

"This change does not compromise the amazing taste of Yoplait Light yogurt," he wrote in an email.

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose are used to reduce the sugar and calorie content in a wide variety of foods and drinks. The sweeteners are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which says that both have been extensively studied. The agency also notes that all ingredients added to food in the U.S., including high-intensity sweeteners, must be safe for consumption.

Still, aspartame has been the subject of concern in some circles for years. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., says it should be avoided because select studies in the past have suggested it caused cancer in rodents.

Michael Jacobson, the group's executive director, notes that another reason for aspartame's bad image is that Internet searches turn up overwhelmingly negative results, even if many of the claims are unfounded.

In the meantime, General Mills is also working to make up ground on the Greek yogurt front, which it was late to enter. Executives say its Greek varieties of Yoplait now have 10 per cent of the Greek market, which is still led by Chobani. Still, the Greek yogurt category has grown more competitive, with smaller players entering the market as well.

___

Follow Candice Choi at www.twitter.com/candicechoi

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A red squirrel peaks out of the shade in a tree in East Fort Garry, Sunday, September 9, 2012. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A goose comes in for a landing Thursday morning through heavy fog on near Hyw 59 just north of Winnipeg - Day 17 Of Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Winnipeg control growth to deal with climate change?

View Results

Ads by Google