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Diet Coke (also known as Diet Coca-Cola) is a sugar-free soft drink produced and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company. It was introduced in the United States on Independence Day in 1982 as the first new brand since 1886 to use the Coca-Cola trademark. The product quickly overtook Tab in sales. Its taste can be described as "crisp" and differs significantly from regular Coke.
Diet Coke was sweetened with aspartame after the sweetener became available in the United States in 1983; however, to save money, this was originally in a blend with saccharin. After Diet Rite cola advertised its 100 percent use of aspartame, and the manufacturer of NutraSweet (then, G.D. Searle & Company) warned that the NutraSweet trademark would not be made available to a blend of sweeteners, Coca-Cola switched the formula to 100 percent NutraSweet, later switching back and doing without the NutraSweet trademark. Diet Coke from fountain dispensers still contains some saccharin to extend shelf life.
In other countries, in which cyclamates are not banned (as they were in the U.S. and the United Kingdom in 1970), Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Light may be sweetened with a blend containing cyclamates, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium.
In 2005, under pressure from retailer Wal-Mart (which was impressed with the popularity of Splenda sweetener), the company released a new formulation called "Diet Coke sweetened with Splenda". Sucralose and acesulfame potassium replace aspartame in this ...