Pepsi Next has hit our shelves a month ahead of rival Coke Life. The stevia-sweetened fizzy drink is being marketed as a healthier alternative to regular Pepsi Cola, which contains about 30 per cent more sugar. Stevia comes from a plant native to South America and had been used as a natural sweetener around the world for hundreds of years, it had been growing in popularity because of its ability to naturally reduce sugars in diets while retaining a high level of sweetness. Coca-Cola's own product, expected to launch here in early April, was developed in response to a growing demand for less sugary drinks.pepsi-next-new