Dr Pepper logo
|Manufacturer||Dr Pepper Snapple Group (formerly Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages; previously Dr Pepper/Seven Up) |
The Coca-Cola Company (Europe only)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Variants||Heritage Dr Pepper (original recipe variant without corn syrup) |
Diet Dr Pepper
Caffeine-free Dr Pepper
Diet Caffeine-free Dr Pepper
Dr Pepper Zero
Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper
Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper
Dr Pepper Berries & Cream
Diet Dr Pepper Berries & Cream
Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper
Dr Pepper Cherry
Diet Dr Pepper Cherry
Cherry Dr Pepper Zero
Dr Pepper TEN
|Related products||Pibb Xtra |
|Serving size 12 fl oz (355 ml)|
|Servings per container 1|
|Amount per serving|
|Calories 150||Calories from fat 0|
|% Daily value*|
|Total fat 0 g||0%|
|Saturated fat 0 g||0%|
|Trans fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 55 mg||2%|
|Potassium 0 mg||0%|
|Total carbohydrate 40 g||13%|
|Dietary fiber 0 g||0%|
|Sugars 40 g|
|Protein 0 g|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||0%|
|*Percent daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.|
Dr Pepper is a soft drink, marketed as having a unique flavor. The drink was created in the 1880s by Charles Alderton of Waco, Texas and first served around 1885. Dr Pepper was first nationally marketed in the United States in 1904 and is now also sold in Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico, Australia (as an imported drink) and South America. Variants include a non-high fructose corn syrup version, Diet Dr Pepper, as well as a line of versions with additional flavors, first introduced in the 2000s.
W.W. Clements, a former CEO and president of the Dr Pepper/7-Up Company, described the taste of Dr Pepper as one-of-a-kind, saying "I've always maintained you cannot tell anyone what Dr Pepper tastes like because it's so different. It's not an apple, it's not an orange, it's not a strawberry, it's not a root beer, it's not even a cola. It's a different kind of drink with a unique taste all its own."
The U.S. Patent Office recognizes December 1, 1885 as the first time Dr Pepper was served. It was introduced nationally in the United States at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition as a new kind of soda pop, made with 23 flavors. Its introduction in 1885 preceded the introduction of Coca-Cola by one year.
It was formulated by Brooklyn-born pharmacist Charles Alderton in Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas. To test his new drink, he first offered it to store owner Wade Morrison, who also found it to his liking. Patrons at Morrison's soda fountain soon learned of Alderton's new drink and began ordering a "Waco". Alderton gave the formula to Morrison who named it Dr Pepper.
There are many theories about the origins of the soft drink's name. One conjecture is that the "pep" refers to pepsin. In 2009, an old ledger book filled with formulas and recipes was discovered by a man named Bill Waters while shopping at antiques stores in the Texas Panhandle. Several sheets and letterheads hinted that it had come from the W.B. Morrison & Co. Old Corner Drug Store (the same store Dr Pepper was first served at in 1885) and faded letters on the book's cover spelled out "Castles Formulas" (John Castles was a partner of Morrison's for a time and worked at that location as early as 1880). One recipe in the book titled "D Peppers Pepsin Bitters" was of particular interest, and some speculated it could be an early recipe for Dr Pepper. However, Dr Pepper Snapple Group insists it is not the formula for Dr Pepper, but is instead a medicinal recipe for a digestive aid. The book was put up for auction in May 2009 but no one purchased it.
Like many early sodas, the drink was marketed as a brain tonic and energizing pick-me-up, so another theory holds that it was named for the pep it supposedly gave to users.
Others believe the drink was named after a real Dr Pepper. One candidate is Dr Charles T. Pepper of Rural Retreat, Virginia, who might have been honored either in order for Morrison to obtain permission to marry the doctor's daughter, or in gratitude to Pepper for giving Morrison his first job. However, Morrison lived nearly 50 miles from Rural Retreat, and Pepper's daughter was only 8 years old at the time Morrison relocated to Waco.
Another possibility is Dr Pepper of Christiansburg, Virginia. U.S. Census records show a young Morrison working as a pharmacy clerk in Christiansburg. One of the following pages of this census supposedly shows a Dr Pepper and daughter Malinda or Malissa, age 16. Since census takers of the period were walking door to door, and their census entries were on following pages, it seems likely that Morrison and the family of Dr Pepper did not live very far from each other.
Legal and trade history
In 1951, Dr Pepper sued the Coca-Cola company for $750,000(US) asserting that nickel Coca-Colas were sold below cost and were a restraint of trade.
In 1972, Dr Pepper sued the Coca-Cola company for trademark infringement based on a soft drink marketed by Coca-Cola called "Peppo". They tried naming it Dr. Pibb, which was also determined to violate the trademark. The soft drink was later renamed Mr Pibb.
Dr Pepper became insolvent in the early 1980s, prompting an investment group to take the company private. Several years later, Coca-Cola attempted to acquire Dr Pepper, but was blocked from doing so by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Around the same time, Seven Up was acquired from Phillip Morris by the same investment company that bailed out Dr Pepper. Upon the failure of the Coca-Cola merger, Dr Pepper and Seven Up merged (creating Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., or DPSU), giving up international branding rights in the process. After the DPSU merger, Coca-Cola obtained most non-U.S. rights to the Dr Pepper name (with PepsiCo taking the Seven Up rights).
Dr Pepper was a frequent player in the 1990s antitrust history of the United States. As part of these activities, economists and the courts have weighed in with the opinion that Dr Pepper is a "Pepper" flavored drink and not a "Cola". In 1995, the FTC blocked a merger between The Coca-Cola Company and Dr Pepper on grounds that included concerns about a monopoly of the "Pepper" flavor category of soft drinks. In 1996, Dr Pepper was involved in an antitrust case involving Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys, NFL Properties, Nike, and other commercial interests active at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. Jones had made deals with Dr Pepper and the other companies that, the league said, violated their exclusive marketing contracts with Coca-Cola and other businesses. The NFL agreed to allow Jones and other teams to pursue their own agreements.
In 1998, the "Pepper" flavor soda category was a major part of the analysis supporting an antitrust case between Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Much of the soft drink industry in the United States stopped using sugar in the 1980s, in response to a series of price supports and import quotas introduced beginning in 1982 that increased the price of sugar above the global market price. As a result, most U.S. soft drinks, including Dr Pepper, now use high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar.
A handful of U.S. bottling plants still use sugar to sweeten Dr Pepper. The Dr Pepper bottling plant in Dublin, Texas produces such a beverage, known as Dublin Dr Pepper. In the 1980s, plant owner W.P. "Bill" Kloster (June 7, 1918 – September 27, 1999) refused to convert the plant to high fructose corn syrup. Since 2003, Dublin Dr Pepper has expanded its distribution to most of Texas and the Internet. Other bottlers still using sugar include Temple Bottling Company, in Temple, Texas, Ab-Tex in Abilene, and West Jefferson Dr Pepper (WJDP) of West Jefferson, NC.
On March 25, 2007, Coca-Cola bottlers in the Dr Pepper Heartland commenced sales of 16 ounce cans of Dr Pepper made with cane sugar and featuring a logo with 'Old Doc' on them. This product is scheduled to be a limited time release.
In January 2009, "Heritage Dr Pepper" became available in select markets in cans and 16 oz bottles with the distinction "Made with Real Sugar".
Beginning in July 2010, Dr Pepper's 125th Anniversary edition in some markets was made with real sugar. Since Dr Pepper Corporate has no control over whether the bottlers will use real sugar, there is no guarantee the soda will have real sugar.
"Dr Pepper Time", according to one promotion, was at 10, 2 and 4 o'clock. During World War II, a syndicated radio program, The 10-2-4 Ranch (later titled 10-2-4 Time), aired in the South and other areas where Dr Pepper was distributed. The show featured the Sons of the Pioneers and Dick Foran. In the 1960s, the tune of the chorus of "The Glow-Worm" was used in ads, with lyrics which ended, "It's Dr Pepper Time!"
In the 1960s, Dr Pepper released the Charge Ad:
Free Dr Pepper for everyone in America
In a unique marketing strategy, Dr Pepper entered a dare of sorts between themselves and Guns N' Roses front man Axl Rose. They stated that if Axl Rose managed to release his new album, Chinese Democracy, in 2008, they would give everyone in America a free Dr Pepper. Chinese Democracy, which was in the works for 14 years, was released on November 23, 2008.
Dr Pepper put a coupon for a free can on its website, but the website to download the coupon was inaccessible throughout most of the day. In response to the difficulties, the option to phone in a request was made. After dialing 1-888-DRPEPPER the caller was greeted with an acknowledgment of the technical problems with the website and callers were then allowed to enter their name, address, and email address to receive their free Dr Pepper. Due to the website issues, the offer was extended until 6 p.m. on November 24, 2008, yet several people still experienced problems registering.
Rose threatened to sue Dr Pepper's manufacturer for a public apology and undisclosed damages, alleging it failed to honor this promise. No suit was filed.
Dr Pepper Museum
Dr Pepper Capital of the World
The company sells more Dr Pepper in the Roanoke Valley area of Virginia than any other metropolitan area east of the Mississippi River. Roanoke is approximately 90 miles east of the hometown of Dr Charles T. Pepper, which is Rural Retreat, Virginia, and 30 miles east of Christiansburg, Virginia, home of Dr Pepper and Morrison referred to in the census information above. In the past, the city has been named the "Dr Pepper Capital of the World" and broke world records for its mass consumption of Dr Pepper in the late 1950s. Dr Pepper donated a portion of its sales revenue in the Roanoke area to finance restoration of a circa-1950s neon Dr Pepper sign, which has the company's "10-2-4" logo from the time, in downtown Roanoke.
- Dr Pepper official website
- Dr Pepper on MySpace
- The Dr Pepper Museum
- Dr Pepper Company at Handbook of Texas Online
- FTC Statement on Coca-Cola Dr Pepper Merger
- The Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company in Dublin, Texas
- Temple Bottling Company, in Temple, Texas
- Bootlegging Dr Pepper, June 5, 2008, by Robb Walsh, Houston Press
- Original Formula Found at Drug Store
- Bill Waters finds Dr Pepper original formula in notebook in antique store in Texas, May 5, 2009, Associated Press in New York Daily News
- Caffeine Content for Dr Pepper flavors compared to some other beverages, Good Housekeeping
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