Stevia is a liquid sweetener and sugar substitute - with a sweeter taste - that is derived from an herb in the chrysanthemum family. It is banned or limited in many countries because of concerns about its toxicity, but in 2008 the FDA approved its use as a food additive in the United States. As a result, many companies are now creating drinks with stevia. Even major brands like Coke, Pepsi and Kraft are producing beverages made with the newly approved sweetener.
Coca Cola, Inc. has released Sprite Green, a reduced-calorie version of their classic lemon-lime soda Sprite, using the stevia sweetener. They also make Odwalla Mojito Mambo and Odwalla Pomegranate Strawberry - which are both fruit juices - with the sugar substitute.
Pepsi launched three zero-calorie versions of their SoBe Lifewater in Yumberry Pomegranate, Fuji Apple Pear, and Black and Blue Berry. They also introduced a reduced-calorie orange juice drink, Trop50 (produced by Tropicana), with the stevia sweetener.
Kraft Foods Products
Kraft Foods has launched several stevia-sweetened beverages. Their Crystal Light Pure Fitness line contains several powdered mixes that are mixed with water. They also produce the Nature's Splash line of drink mixes.
Smaller beverage companies, such as Virgil's and Zevia's, have also created drinks using stevia. Virgil's Vanilla Diet Cream, Diet Root Beer and Black Cherry Diet Cream are reduced-calorie sodas that contain the sweetener, as do Zevia's Natural Twist, Natural Cola and Natural Orange sodas.