Dr Pepper is a carbonated soft drink. It was created in the 1880s by pharmacist Charles Alderton in 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, North and South America, and Australia, as well as New Zealand and South Africa as an imported good. Variants include Diet Dr Pepper and, beginning in the 2000s, a line of additional flavors.
|Manufacturer||Keurig Dr Pepper (2008–present; United States only)|
The Coca-Cola Company (Europe and South Korea only)
PepsiCo (Canada and Oceania only)
|Distributor||Keurig Dr Pepper|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Flavor||Pepper-style carbonated soft drink|
|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.|
The name "Dr. Pepper" was first used commercially in 1885. 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 (later stylized as "Dr Pepper").
Early advertisements for this soft drink made medical claims, stating that it "aids digestion and restores vim, vigor, and vitality."
As with Coca-Cola, the formula for Dr Pepper is a trade secret, and allegedly the recipe is kept as two halves in safe deposit boxes in two separate Dallas banks. A persistent rumor since the 1930s is that the drink contains prune juice, but the official Dr Pepper FAQ refutes this with "Dr Pepper is a unique blend of natural and artificial flavors; it does not contain prune juice." The origin of the rumor is unknown; some believe it was started by a deliveryman for a competitor trying to cast aspersions based on prune juice's laxative effects, but it may simply be because many people feel that Dr Pepper tastes similar to prune juice.
In 2009, an old ledger book filled with formulas and recipes was discovered by Bill Waters while shopping at antiques stores in the Texas Panhandle. Several sheets and letterheads hinted it had come from the W.B. Morrison & Co. Old Corner Drug Store (the same store where Dr Pepper was first served 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 "Dr Peppers Pepsin Bitters" was of particular interest, and some speculated it could be an early recipe for Dr Pepper. However, Keurig Dr Pepper 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.
Theories about the origins of the soft drink's name abound. One possible reason that the name was chosen was the practice, common at the time of the drink's creation, of including Dr. in the names of products to convey the impression that they were healthful.
A theory often cited is that the drink was named after an actual doctor, one Charles T. Pepper of Rural Retreat, Virginia. Morrison may have named the drink after the doctor in gratitude for Pepper having given Morrison his first job. However, Milly Walker, Collections Manager / Curator for the Dublin (Texas) Dr Pepper Bottling Co. Museum, has stated that U.S. Census records show that a young Morrison lived in Christiansburg, Virginia, 40 miles (64 km) away from Rural Retreat, and that "there is not one piece of evidence that Morrison ever worked for Charles T. Pepper in Rural Retreat". Another story tells of Morrison naming the drink after Charles T. Pepper because the doctor granted Morrison permission to marry Pepper's daughter, but the girl in question was only eight years old at the time that Morrison moved to Waco.
A Dr. Pepper of Christiansburg is another possible inspiration for the soft drink's name. In the census that shows Morrison living in Christiansburg and working as a pharmacy clerk, a Dr. Pepper is recorded on a subsequent page. Since census takers at this time were walking from door to door, and these census entries are close to each other in the record, it appears that Morrison and this Dr. Pepper lived close to each other. Furthermore, Pepper is recorded as having a 16-year-old daughter, named Malinda or Malissa.
The period (full stop) after Dr was used intermittently in Dr Pepper logos until the 1950s, when, after some debate, it was discarded permanently, for stylistic and legibility reasons. A logo that debuted at that time had slanted text, in which Dr. resembled Di:.
Legal and trade history
In 1969, due to Dr Pepper's legal success as being determined a "non-cola" soft drink, then President & CEO W.W. "Foots" Clements was successful in convincing the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York, the largest bottler and distributor of Cola-Cola in the world, to bottle and distribute Dr Pepper in the New York metropolitan area.
In 1972, Dr Pepper sued the Coca-Cola company for trademark infringement based on a soft drink marketed by Coca-Cola called "Peppo". Coca-Cola renamed their beverage 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-US 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.
- Dietetic Dr Pepper was introduced in 1962 (cans) and 1963 (bottles). Sales were slow partly due to the public misconception that the drink was for diabetics, and in 1966, the company renamed the product Sugar Free Dr Pepper. The name was changed to Diet Dr Pepper in 1987. Diet Dr Pepper, after posting a 6.4% gain in sales volume, became the 10th best-selling soda in 2006, according to Beverage Digest magazine. From 1991 to 2006, the beverage was marketed using the slogan "Diet Dr Pepper tastes more like Regular Dr Pepper." In 2006, a new marketing campaign was launched comparing the taste of Diet Dr Pepper to desserts instead of regular Dr Pepper with the slogan "There's nothing diet about it."
- Pepper Free (1982–1985) was first introduced to test markets in 1982 as a caffeine-free version of Diet Dr Pepper, citing company research that indicated a need for a product to fill a niche for the health-conscious consumer. Originally introduced in only six states, the Pepper Free brand lasted for only three years and was phased out in 1985. While a caffeine-free dietetic product continues to be produced under various name permutations, the reason for pulling the Pepper Free brand is unknown, but could have been due to confusion with the rival "Pepsi Free" brand (currently "Caffeine-Free Pepsi").
- Caffeine Free Dr Pepper (not diet) was first released in 1983.
- Dr Pepper TEN, a low-calorie version of Dr Pepper, was released in 2011. This version retained the taste of regular Dr Pepper, but with 10 calories per serving. It was marketed toward men, featuring a gunmetal-gray color scheme, industrial rivets, and bold font, and the tagline "It's Not for Women."
- Dr Pepper Red Fusion (2002–2004) was available only in the US. The predominantly cherry-flavored, red-colored Red Fusion was the first new flavor added to the Dr Pepper family of beverages in the company's 122-year history. Its production was essentially canceled less than a year later, although in certain areas it was available until late 2004.
- Dr Pepper Cherry Vanilla (began 2004) was released in some areas on October 15, 2004. The beverage tastes similar to Dr Pepper but has stronger cherry and vanilla flavors added. Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper was the first drink in the planned "Soda Fountain Classics" line of beverages from Dr Pepper, a range of drinks designed to taste similar to popular soda fountain drinks from the 1950s. It is now only available in select areas of the US. It was available in Canada for a short time, but it ceased production as of mid-2007. It became available again in mid-2008, after Diet Cherry Chocolate Dr Pepper ceased production. It is also available as a flavor variant in Coca-Cola Freestyle machines that offer Dr Pepper in place of Pibb Xtra.
- Dr Pepper Berries and Cream (2006–2007) and its diet version were released in most US locations in April 2006. It is the second beverage in Dr Pepper's "Soda Fountain Classics" line of drinks. In Canada, the diet version of the drink was available approximately from May 2007 to August 2007 and the nondiet version was available from September 2007 to December 2007. Berries and Cream and Diet Berries and Cream have also been discontinued.
- Dr Pepper Cream Soda Introduced in 2020, It is the cream soda version of the original Dr Pepper. The beverage also comes in diet form.
- Diet Cherry Chocolate Dr Pepper (2007–2008) was introduced as a limited edition flavor on November 21, 2007. It was discontinued in April 2008. It became available in Canada in early January 2008. A nondiet version was never created. The taste is similar to Canfield's Diet Cherry Chocolate Fudge Soda, but with the distinctive Dr Pepper flavor. It was featured in the song "Cherry Chocolate Rain" by YouTube celebrity Tay Zonday. Upon ceasing production, it was replaced by Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper.
- Dr Pepper Cherry (began 2009) was released in some areas around February 2009. The beverage tastes similar to Dr Pepper, but has stronger cherry flavor added. Variety comes in both regular and diet versions. Gene Simmons of the band Kiss was chosen to be the variation's spokesman, with a commercial circulating on television in March–April 2009 featuring Kiss's song "Calling Dr. Love" ("Trust me, I'm a doctor" claims Simmons in the commercial). It is also available as a flavor variant in Coca-Cola Freestyle machines that offer Dr Pepper in place of Pibb Xtra.
- Heritage Dr Pepper (or Dr Pepper Heritage; began 2009) became available around November 2009 in various outlets around the United States. As its name implies, it is a "re-release" of sorts of Dr Pepper's original formula, which uses sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, which Dr Pepper and other brands of soft drink started to use around the early 1970s. The formulas of Heritage Dr Pepper and Dublin Dr Pepper are assumed to be one and the same, but Heritage Dr Pepper is a larger-scale, national release aimed at capturing the same marketing essence as the Pepsi and Mountain Dew throwbacks.
- Dr Pepper "Made with Real Sugar" was released to commemorate the drink's 125th anniversary during summer 2010. It featured the use of "real" sugar which was likely a mix of cane and beet sugar as opposed to its usual high fructose corn syrup. This version of the soda featured six collectible 12 oz cans and a 20 oz plastic bottle decorated with Dr Pepper's old slogans and images from the 1960s.
- Dr Pepper Vanilla Float (began 2014) is a summertime limited-edition run of Dr Pepper with a vanilla ice cream taste, available in 20-ounce bottles, 2-liter bottles, and 12-ounce 12 packs.
- Dr Pepper Dark Berry (beginning 2019) will be a limited-edition run of Dr Pepper with a dark berry taste, to promote the launch of Spider-Man: Far From Home.
- UK Variation, United Kingdom's version of Dr Pepper, along with various other countries, is manufactured with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (much like Heritage Dr Pepper in the US, as mentioned above). Since August 2014, a "revised" flavor has been marketed in the UK that reduces the amount of sugar from 10.3 g per 100 ml to 7.2 g while adding artificial sweeteners (aspartame and acesulfame K).
- Dr Pepper Zero (began 2013) – As Coca-Cola distribute Dr Pepper in the United Kingdom, a "Zero" version was introduced, meaning no added sugar and low-calorie, but maintaining a taste more in line with regular Dr Pepper than its diet variant.
- German Variation, Germany's version of Dr Pepper, similar to its UK version, is also manufactured with a reduced amount of sugar and artificial sweeteners (also aspartame and acesulfame K). However, the sugar is reduced to 6.8 g per 100 ml, marginally less than in the United Kingdom.
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 US soft drinks, including Dr Pepper, now use high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar.
A handful of United States bottling plants still use sugar to sweeten Dr Pepper. The Dr Pepper bottling plant in Dublin, Texas used to produce 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. 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 was 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 sugar as opposed to other sweeteners. Since Dr Pepper Corporate has no control over whether the bottlers will use sugar, there is no guarantee the soda will have sugar.
As of January 2012, the bottling plant in Dublin, Texas, is no longer bottling Dr Pepper.
The soft drink industry in some other countries never stopped using sugar as a sweetener. For instance in the European Union, high fructose corn syrup is subject to a production quota. In 2005, this quota was set at 303,000 tons; in comparison, the EU produced an average of 18.6 million tons of sugar annually between 1999 and 2001. Therefore, most European soft drink producers, including most Dr Pepper bottling plants, still use sugar to sweeten their products. However, the bottlers of Dr Pepper in Germany and the United Kingdom use instead a combination of sugar and artificial sweeteners.
In the United States, Keurig Dr Pepper does not have a complete network of bottlers and distributors, so the drink is sometimes bottled under contract by Coca-Cola or Pepsi bottlers. Prior to the initial Cadbury Schweppes investment-turned-buyout, 30% of Dr Pepper/Seven Up products were produced and distributed by Pepsi bottlers, and another 30% by Coca-Cola bottlers. The remaining 40% were produced and distributed by independent bottlers (mainly consisting of Dr Pepper/Seven Up premerger regional bottlers) and the Dr Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Group. Currently, the majority of Pepsi and Coke bottlers bottling Dr Pepper are owned by PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company after their buyouts of their major bottlers.
Presently, Dr Pepper Snapple relies on its own bottling group to bottle and distribute its products in more than 30 states. Coca-Cola and Pepsi have essentially stopped bottling and distributing Cadbury-Schweppes products in favor of in-house alternatives, although regional exceptions can be found.
In Canada and Poland, Cadbury-Schweppes has licensed distribution rights to PepsiCo. In Mexico, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Norway, Cadbury-Schweppes owns the trademark and distributes the product. In Finland, the product is bottled by Sinebrychoff. In Romania, it can be found only in larger cities, imported from Belgium. In Portugal, Spain, France, Turkey, and Greece, it is almost impossible to find, as it is usually imported from the United Kingdom in particular supermarkets. In almost all of the other countries of the world, the Coca-Cola Company purchased the trademark from Cadbury-Schweppes and distributes the product. This mixed worldwide ownership of the trademark is due to antitrust regulations which prevented Coca-Cola from purchasing the rights everywhere. Dr Pepper is also available in Russia (though imported, generally from Poland — there's no local bottling despite numerous talks), South Korea and Ukraine. Although no longer locally bottled in Australia or New Zealand, Dr Pepper is imported and sold by United States Foods, and many other small retailers in Australia, with the UK (sugar) version sold in the British sections of Coles and Woolworths supermarkets. Dr Pepper is not available in Thailand, North Korea and Serbia. It is also sold in Indonesia, where it is imported by PT Citra Gourmand Prima (formerly PT Armasco Prima) with its office in Sunter, North Jakarta, but it is rarely sold in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, as it is imported from the United States. In Lebanon Dr Pepper is always available in supermarkets and convenience stores through imports mainly from the United States, the United Kingdom and Belgium.
Dr Pepper has been sold in Japan since 1973 and is widely available in greater Tokyo, Okinawa and parts of the Tōkai region, where it is distributed by local Coca-Cola bottlers. It is not actively marketed in other regions of Japan; Coca-Cola's Osaka bottler began selling Dr Pepper in 1983, but pulled the product two years later due to low sales.
- Dr Pepper has a line of jelly beans made by the Jelly Belly company.
- Hubba Bubba bubblegum produces a Dr Pepper-flavored edition. The gum is the same color as the soda.
- Dr Pepper collaborated with Vita Food Products to produce Dr Pepper Sweet & Kickin' BBQ Sauce and Dr Pepper "More than Mesquite" Marinade.
- Cosmetics company Bonne Bell includes Dr Pepper among its licensed soft drink-flavored "Lip Smackers" lip balms.
- Brach's has a line of hard candy that features Dr Pepper, Orange Crush, A&W Root Beer and 7 Up flavored hard candies in Brach's Soda Poppers.
- Dr Pepper has an ice cream topping syrup also manufactured by Vita Food Products in 2009 called "Dr Pepper cherry dessert topping".
- Dr Pepper also created an iPod skin cover, but it was discontinued.
- Dr Pepper Slurpee is sold by retailer 7-Eleven.
- Dr Pepper Flavored Freezies are currently available with Grape Crush and Hires Root Beer flavors.
- The Serious Bean Company makes a variety of baked beans using Dr Pepper in the sauce.
"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:
Get Going Again,
With the Dr Pepper Difference.
The "Be a Pepper" series referred to fans of Dr Pepper as "Peppers" and often featured large, sequential, crowd dance scenes, intricately choreographed by Tony Stevens and led onscreen by actor David Naughton. A recurring jingle was:
I'm a Pepper, he's a Pepper,
She's a Pepper, we're a Pepper,
Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?
Be a Pepper. Drink Dr Pepper.
This became grist for a number of pop culture references and parodies. One of the first was a July 1981 sketch on the program SCTV, in which an overly-excited injured man (Eugene Levy) extols the work of a "Dr Shekter" (Rick Moranis) who has been treating him. Levy and a group of patients wearing casts and crutches engage in their own elaborate dancing and singing ("Wouldn't you like to see my doctor, too?"), which Shekter first uses as an opportunity to explain his work, and then grows alarmed ("These people should not be dancing!"). In the 1982 sex farce Beach Girls, the slogan became "I'm a popper, he's a popper..." Wreck-Gar parodied the slogan in The Return of Optimus Prime.
After appearing in a series of commercials, David Naughton had his breakthrough film role as the main character in the John Landis film An American Werewolf in London. Another famous "I'm a Pepper" dancer was Ray Bolger, the actor who played the Scarecrow in the film The Wizard of Oz.
In the early 1960s, Dr Pepper promoted the idea of serving the drink hot with lemon slices in winter. This idea appeared in the film Blast from the Past initially set in the early 1960s.
In 1977, Jake Holmes wrote the lyrics to "Be a Pepper". Earlier in the 1970s, Holmes and Randy Newman wrote another jingle entitled "The Most Original Soft Drink Ever". Barry Manilow performed Holmes's jingle in concerts and on albums under the inclusion of "VSM – Very Strange Medley". A TV commercial was also created using the jingle and ran from 1977 to 1985. The song noted "It's not a cola, it's something much much more. It's not a root beer, you get root beer by the score." W.W. Clements, former CEO and president of the Dr Pepper/7-Up Company, similarly 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."
Dr Pepper has also been featured outside the "I'm a Pepper" motif. An example is in the video game Pikmin 2, where one of the collectible treasures is a Dr Pepper bottle cap (it is labeled as the "Drought Ender"). Also, an empty Dr Pepper bottle is featured in the book Ragweed by Newbery Medal-winning author Avi; the book's illustrator, Brian Floca, is the son of a Dr Pepper bottler. Several of the classic non-"I'm a Pepper" commercials featured prominent movie stars, one being a television advertisement with Chris Rock as a child enjoying a Dr Pepper.
The 1980s "Out of the Ordinary" advertising campaign involved a series of postapocalyptic commercials featuring a space cowboy and an alien sidekick seeking "something different" from a simple generic cola. The campaign also produced commercials featuring the movie creature Godzilla, where citizens of a Japanese town offered Dr Pepper as a libation. The commercials were prominently featured during the 1986 syndication of The Canned Film Festival, which was sponsored by the Dr Pepper Company.
Dr Pepper's "Be You" advertising campaign centered on commercials featuring pairs of popular musicians, including LeAnn Rimes with Reba McEntire, Paulina Rubio with Celia Cruz, Thalía with Tito Puente, B2K with Smokey Robinson, Anastacia with Cyndi Lauper, Patricia Manterola with Ana Gabriel, and LL Cool J with Run-D.M.C. The campaign also featured individual musicians, notably Garth Brooks.
The 1986 movie Short Circuit features a malfunctioning robot Johnny 5 notably reading a billboard slogan multiple times "Wouldn't You Like to Be a Pepper Too?"
Dr Pepper made several appearances in the 1994 Robert Zemeckis major motion picture Forrest Gump, as it was the beverage of choice for the movie's namesake lead character, played by Tom Hanks. In one of the film's Dr Pepper scenes, Forrest's narrative suggests, "The best part about goin' to the White House was, they had all the food and drink that you wanted ... I must have had me 15 Dr Peppers." When subsequently asked by the President how he felt, Forrest gave an honest answer of "I gotta pee." Although, arguably the film's largest product placement installation, the depiction of Dr Pepper was perhaps not always accurate as, in another scene during the 1972 New Year's Eve celebration which Forrest attends, he drinks a Dr Pepper with a logo that was inconsistent with the timeline of the film.
In Australia, a report on the soft drink industry by IBIS accused Cadbury Schweppes of failing in their marketing of the brand, given its global appeal. One potential problem with the marketing campaign was in advertising it as "American". The use of the Statue of Liberty moving to Australia and passing cans of Dr Pepper on to two Australian males made its imported (i.e. "non-Australian") status clear.
After withdrawing from the Australian market, Dr Pepper arrived without fanfare in New Zealand. Cans imported from the US are available in some specialty stores in New Zealand and Australia.
On the December 20, 2000, episode of the Late Show with David Letterman, Letterman jokingly referred to Dr Pepper as "liquid manure". After a representative of Dr Pepper complained, CBS agreed not to rerun that episode. Letterman repeatedly made assurances on the show that he was joking.
From 2001 to 2003, Diet Dr Pepper aired ads that promise authentic Dr Pepper taste, using the slogan "Diet Dr Pepper tastes more like regular Dr Pepper", parodying new ideas inferior to the originals, including XGA (not PGA) Extreme Golf, Green Bay Watch (spoof of Baywatch) and a TV show CHimPs (rather than CHiPs). These ads were produced by They Might Be Giants.
Several ads for Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper appeared on television in 2005. In one, a young woman on a blind date at a restaurant, who sips into the beverage, suddenly makes her date, restaurant patrons, and even a waitress all part of a musical sequence involving The Muppets version of the song "Mah Nà Mah Nà".
In a 2008 ad, a student in a college lecture takes a sip of Dr Pepper. When he stops drinking, the Dr Pepper can sings variations of "Flava Licious" (Flavor Flav), and other people in the room start dancing.
In 2008, Dr Pepper in the UK restarted launching its old adverts and slogan, "What's the worst that can happen?" They also started an on-pack promotion for free ringtones with up to 20 to collect. A commercial for this included Jesse Eisenberg being forced to be on live TV without his clothes on.
As of 2009, the slogan of the product was "Drink it slow. Doctor's orders". Advertising supporting the slogan has celebrities with famous relations to the word "doctor" (Dr. Dre, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Gene Simmons (writer of the Kiss song "Calling Dr. Love"), et al.) or who played fictional doctors (such as Neil Patrick Harris or Kelsey Grammer) endorsing the beverage. The ads culminate with the celebrity stating, "Trust me. I'm a doctor", followed by the new slogan appearing onscreen with a glass of Dr Pepper.
In 2010, Dr Pepper was part of a marketing and promotional campaign with Marvel Studios to promote the summer blockbuster Iron Man 2; characters from the film adorned cans of Dr Pepper, Diet Dr Pepper, and Dr Pepper Cherry.
- 1889–1914: "King of Beverages."
- 1920s–1940s: "Drink a Bite to Eat at 10, 2, and 4 o'clock."
- 1939: "When You Drink a Dr. Pepper You Drink a Bite to Eat."
- 1930s–1940s: "Good For Life."
- 1945: "Dr. Pepper has 23 flavors"
- 1950s: "The Friendly Pepper Upper."
- 1960s: "America's Most Misunderstood Soft Drink."
- 1970s-77: "The Most Original Soft Drink Ever."
- 1977–1983: "I'm a Pepper, He's a Pepper, We're a Pepper.", "Be a Pepper.", "Wouldn't you like to Be a Pepper too?"
- 1983: "Dr Pepper Has Made a Pepper Out of me."
- 1983: "It Tastes and It Looks." (Sugar Free Dr Pepper)
- c. 1984 "Out of the Ordinary. Like You."
- c. 1984 "The Taste for Out of the Ordinary Bodies." (Diet Dr Pepper)
- 1984–1997: "Hold Out For the Out of the Ordinary."
- ?1980s–Present "Dr Pepper, what's the worst that could happen?", used in the UK, playing on the fact that many UK consumers don't know what the drink tastes like and are wary of trying it
- 1991: "Just what the Doctor ordered."
- c. 1997: "It's Dr Pepper Flavour, Silly!" Australia
- c. 1997: "Expect the Unexpected!" Australia
- 1997: "Now's the Time. This is the Place. Dr Pepper Is The Taste."
- 2000: "Dr Pepper, It Makes the World Taste Better."
- 2000–Present: "Just What The Dr Ordered."
- c. 2001 "Dr Pepper, so misunderstood"
- 2002–2004: "Be You."
- 2002–Present: "Solves All Your Problems." (used in Europe)
- 2003 "Dr Pepper, to try it is to love it" (used in the UK)
- 2005–Present: "One Taste & You Get It."
- 2006: "Can You Handle The Taste?" (seen in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and Poland)
- 2006: "Authentic blend of 23 flavors." United States, Canada
- 2006: "Dr Pepper, makes the world go round."
- 2006: "Dr Pepper, nothing better." United States
- 2006: "The Dr knows the right touch." (used in Europe)
- 2006: "There's more to it." United States
- c. 2006: "Get Berried in Cream" United States (used for the new Berries and Cream flavor)
- 2007: "I Want It All." United States
- 2007: "El Dr muy bueno" Latin America
- 2008: "Drink It Slow, Dr's Orders" (United States)
- 2009: "Trust me – I'm a Doctor." (ft. Julius Erving, Kelsey Grammer, Gene Simmons, Dr. Dre) United States
- 2009: "It's so amazingly smooth, you have try it to believe it!" and "Amazingly smooth" Dr Pepper Cherry
- 2010: "There's nothing like a Pepper" United States
- 2011: "Can you handle the taste?"
- 2012: "Always One of a Kind" (United States)
Dr Pepper Girl
In 1963, singer Donna Loren became a spokesperson for the company when she was selected in a nationwide search to be the “Dr Pepper Girl”. National exposure followed for Loren as she promoted the drink via radio, print, television, calendars, billboards, and personal appearances. One of her first appearances for the company was as co-host with Dick Clark (whom she worked with regularly) of an ABC television special, Dr Pepper Celebrity Party. She subsequently made hundreds of singing and personal appearances for Dr Pepper. In Dr Pepper—King of Beverages, Dr Pepper historian Harry E. Ellis wrote, “Sparkly, vivacious and gifted with a wonderful voice, Donna was an immediate success. She became widely known in a short period as "The Dr Pepper Girl," appearing at special events and on programs sponsored by the Company. Miss Loren would figure prominently in Dr Pepper's plans for some five years, not only as an entertainer but doing commercials for radio and TV and appearing in many forms of advertising. She appeared on 24-sheet poster boards, point-of-sale and on Dr Pepper calendars.”
Donna Loren’s role as Dr Pepper spokesperson led to her first appearance in the American International Pictures’ Beach Party film Muscle Beach Party. Loren later explained: “Dr Pepper was involved in that [the Beach Party movies] and actually placed me as product placement. And because I could sing, they gave me a duet with Dick Dale, and then it just went on from there.” From this, she went on to appear in three more Beach Party films. Away from the company, Loren was a familiar presence in the 1960s due to her many performances on television, films, and her records for Capitol, Reprise and other labels. She represented Dr Pepper until 1968.
Free Dr Pepper for everyone in America
On March 26, 2008, various media outlets reported that Dr Pepper would offer "a free can of Dr Pepper to everyone in America" – excluding former Guns N' Roses guitarists Buckethead and Slash – if the band released the long-awaited Chinese Democracy in 2008. Later in the day, lead vocalist Axl Rose replied to Dr Pepper on Guns N' Roses' official website and spoke of his surprise at Dr Pepper's support. Rose also said he would share his Dr Pepper with Buckethead as "some of Buckethead's performances are on Chinese Democracy". After it was announced that the album would be released in 2008, Dr Pepper stated that it would uphold its pledge.
Dr Pepper's online distribution of free coupons upon the album's release November 23, 2008, proved inadequate. Lawyers for the band threatened Dr Pepper's parent company with a lawsuit two days after the album's release. In a letter to Dr Pepper, Rose's lawyer Alan Gutman said, "The redemption scheme your company clumsily implemented for this offer was an unmitigated disaster which defrauded consumers and, in the eyes of vocal fans, ruined Chinese Democracy's release." Rose's lawyer also demanded that the company make a full-page apology that would appear in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. In a later interview, Rose claimed he told his lawyers it was a non-issue and was surprised by their actions.
The Dr Pepper Museum, located in the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building at 300 South Fifth Street in downtown Waco, Texas, opened to the public in 1991. The building was the first building to be built specifically to bottle Dr Pepper. It was completed in 1906, and Dr Pepper was bottled there until the 1960s. The museum has three floors of exhibits, a working old-fashioned soda fountain, and a gift store of Dr Pepper memorabilia.
The museum founder, Wilton Lanning, died in January 2018.
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 (140 km) east of the hometown of Dr. Charles T. Pepper, which is Rural Retreat, Virginia, and 30 miles (48 km) east of Christiansburg, Virginia, home of Dr. Pepper and Morrison referred to in the census information above. John William "Bill" Davis opened the first Dr. Pepper plant east of the Mississippi in Roanoke in 1936; subsequently the city was 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. In October 2015, the city of Roanoke declared October 24 (10-2-4) to be its official Dr. Pepper Day.
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It was served at the drug store where Alderton worked and the first Dr Pepper fans asked for a 'Waco.'
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dr Pepper.|
- 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
- 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 the New York Daily News
- Caffeine Content for Dr Pepper flavors compared to some other beverages, Good Housekeeping