San Pellegrino has changed its recipe – and internet claims it 'tastes like poison'

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
San Pellegrino fans are in uproar after the company changed its famous recipe to avoid paying sugar tax [Photo: Instagram]

Fans of San Pellegrino’s sparkling fruit drinks are in uproar after learning that manufacturer Nestlé has changed its famous recipe to avoid paying sugar tax.

The company recently adapted all six Italian flavours – including the popular Limonata and Pompelmo – by using plant-based sweetener stevia instead of sugar.

Back in April, the sugar levy was introduced meaning manufacturers are now required to pay 18p per litre of drink if the product contains more than 5 grams of sugar per 100ml. If the beverage contains more than 8 grams of sugar per 100ml, there is an additional 24p charge.

But fans of the brand are less than impressed with the company’s decision to alter its recipe with many taking to Twitter to vent.

One social media user wrote, “San Pellegrino sodas seem to have adapted to the sugar tax by adding stevia, with the result they now taste like nasty diet drinks, while still having sugar. Sad choice.”

Another joked: “Does anyone have any numbers for some pre-sugar tax San Pellegrino? I’m willing to go to jail to be honest.”

Others took to the digital platform to point out that consumers should have been given a choice in the changes with many prepared to dig deep into their pockets for the original recipe.

One unhappy customer tweeted, “I’d rather pay extra for real sugar because I can’t stand fake sugars.”

According to the San Pellergrino website, the change in recipe means that its range of fizzy drinks now contain an average of 9 grams of sugar per 100ml. The reformulation has removed an average of 40% of the total sugar content reducing it to less than 5 grams per 100ml.

Now, there are on average 70 calories per can – 60 calories less than in previous recipes.

Though the change may not have gone down well with fans, the sugar tax has certainly made its drinks range healthier for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth.


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