Stevia-Sweetened Soft Drinks
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Stevia-Sweetened Soft Drinks

Stevia is a natural sweetener with virtually no calories. An herb that grows abundantly in South America and is also found in parts of North America, it packs quite a punch in the sweetness department: a stevia leaf is about 30 times sweeter than table sugar! No wonder the plant’s nicknames include sweetleaf and sugarleaf.

In Brazil and Paraguay, stevia has been used both as a sweetener and for medicinal purposes for centuries. South Americans continue to sweeten their teas with stevia. Japan was drawn to the sweetener in the 1970s and has produced processed foods and soft drinks with stevia since then. Nowadays many countries cultivate stevia and use it as a natural alternate sweetener. Health benefits include a viable sugar substitute for diabetics and a tool in the fight against obesity. Many people who want to consume less sugar but distrust artificial sweeteners are turning to stevia instead.

With the growing popularity of stevia in the United States, attention is turning to stevia-sweetened soft drinks. Some folks may be surprised to discover that a company based in Culver City, California has been producing zero-calorie natural sodas for years. The company is called Zevia, and it was founded in 2007 in response to concerns about the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas.

Today it offers 15 flavors of all-natural, zero-calorie soda sweetened with stevia, including black cherry, ginger ale, cream soda, grapefruit citrus, and strawberry. Five of the flavors – cola, cherry cola, lime cola, Mountain Zevia, and Dr. Zevia – are caffeinated; the rest are not. There is a non-caffeinated cola flavor as well. To find a place near you that sells Zevia, check out the store locator:

Another company that’s known for natural sodas is Blue Sky, which operates out of Corona, California and was founded in 1980. In addition to producing all-natural and organic sodas, the company introduced its stevia-sweetened zero-calorie soft drinks in 2009, calling the line Blue Sky Free. Currently these soda flavors are available: cherry vanilla creme, lemonade, Jamaican ginger ale, mandarin lime, creamy root beer, lemon lime, and cola. Blue Sky sodas contain no preservatives and no artificial colors. Find a store near you that sells Blue Sky Free using this site,, clicking on your state.

The question is: how do these natural, zero-calorie stevia-based sodas taste?

They’re quite good, actually. Don’t expect them to taste like their diet counterparts; the recipes are unique, and for many people, the stevia-sweetened sodas have no unusual aftertaste, unlike many of the standard diet drinks. As far as flavors go, that’s a matter of personal preference. In general some folks prefer lemon-lime flavors, other like colas, and still others love the sweet fruit flavors. You’ll just have to sample several and decide on your own favorites.

Graciela Sholander is a professional writer and ghostwriter. She is the co-author of Dream It Do It: Inspiring Stories of Dreams Come True, available on the Kindle.

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Comments (10)

Thank you for writing this! I had no idea there was a brand of soft drink that was sweetened with Stevia. I figured I was just going to be drinking tea the rest of my life and no more soda! lol

Great info!

These all sound yummy. I look forward to trying them the next time I am in California.

Thank you, B. Collett! I did not know about them either until I recently stumbled upon them (a great find). And Kimberly, you don't have to go to California to try them. The store locators I provide in the article will show you where to find these sodas near you. They are sold across the United States.

And both brands are available in Canada, too.

I personally believe in time stevia will not be touted as the great sweetener it is right now. Time will tell. thank you for your well researched article.

I have been hearing more about Stevia lately and this is great information. Thanks Graciela!

I am still waiting to try Zevia.  There are coupons online for Zevia in a couple of places. (these are for The US & Canada)

Now, if I had some ink, I'd be all set, lol!  Thanks for writing this!

Very informative post. Thank you.

Thank you, everyone, for your insightful comments -- and thanks for the coupons, Amy!

Thanks to your article, I discovered Stevia : a very good and useful produce. I really appreciate.