Crystal Light ingredients vary slightly by flavor. They typically include a combination of citric acid, maltodextrin, calcium citrate, magnesium oxide, ascorbic acid, artificial flavors, aspartame, calcium carbonate, acesulfame potassium, xanthan gum and cellulose gum. Some varieties contain additional ingredients, such as small amounts of vitamins C, E, B12 and B6, along with caffeine.
Crystal Light Pure Fitness, launched in 2010 and renamed as Crystal Light Pure in 2011, is sweetened with sugar and Truvia, which is produced from the stevia plant. The safety of aspartame, the primary sweetener in many Crystal Light varieties, has been the subject of controversy since its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1981. In 2013, the European Food Safety Authority re-evaluated the sweetener and found it safe for human consumption at current commonly consumed levels. The sweetener must be avoided by people with phenylketonuria, a genetic condition.
Crystal Light was introduced in 1982 with actress Linda Evans as a spokesperson. It is a low-calorie, powdered drink mix that comes in a number of flavors. It was originally packaged in canisters that made two-quart batches of the drink. In 2004, On the Go single-serving packets were added to the line. The multi-serve mix containers were redesigned in 2009 to use less packaging material. Kraft Foods, which owns Crystal Light, states that the brand is the top-selling non-carbonated, sugar-free drink mix.