Is Dr Pepper A Coke Product ? Did you know that Dr Pepper was originally bigger than Coca-Cola at the beginning?
Dr Pepper has been around a long time and many people have been asking questions about its origins.
Let’s look at the history of Dr Pepper to get a fair answer.
I will then answer your most common questions about the soft drink and its relationship to Pepsi or Coke.
Let’s get to it without further delay.
History of Dr Pepper
Dr Pepper is a product that dates back to 1880s.
It began as an experiment in a Waco pharmacy, Texas.
Charles Alderton, a Brooklyn pharmacist, created the original soft drink recipe with 23 flavors.
Wade Morrison, a man named Wade Morrison, owned the “Morrison Old Corner Drug Store”.
Alderton was there at the time. Typically back then, these soda fountains were found in pharmacies.
He was mixing these flavors together one day to try and capture the aromas from all the ingredients.
Dr Pepper was not intended to be as popular as it is today.
Charles was just trying to find the best way to combine different fruit syrups.
He wanted to make the store unique by using the various ingredients.
He tried the mixture, and fell in love instantly with the result. Wade Morrison, his boss, loved it too.
They gave it to their customers, and they discovered that customers also enjoyed it.
It was still called Waco at the time to indicate its origin.
Wade Morrison, his boss, came up with the name Dr Pepper as a result of growing demand.
Dr Pepper is the oldest American beverage brand.
It was commercially first used in 1885. It was 6 months before coca-cola.
It was recognized nationally at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904.
It was a hugely successful exposition that attracted over 20 million visitors.
The logo was styled and legible in the 1950s without the “Dr” stop.
Fast forward to 2018, when Keurig Dr Pepper was formed by the merging of Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Keurig Green Mountains.
It is the 8th largest US food and beverage company with 27k employees, and an annual revenue of more than $11 billion.
Despite this level of growth, valuation, it still holds an 18% market share.
This is a remarkable percentage for a company that competes directly with major brands such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi, which took up 44% and 24%, respectively. Source: 2019 CSD U.S. market share
How Did It Get The Name “Dr Pepper?”
It is still unknown how Wade Morrison got the name “Dr Pepper”. There have been many rumors that point to different sources.
Let’s look at some of these theories.
Named after the Dr., the most likely reason was the widespread practice of including a prefix with Dr. in products back then to indicate that they are safe to eat.
Another theory is that Charles T. Pepper, a doctor from Rural Retreat in Virginia, was actually the actual one.
Morrison was so grateful to Morrison for his first job, that the drink was named in his honor.
Another story tells of Morrison’s decision to name the drink after Charles T. Pepper, because he married Morrison’s daughter.
Morrison was eight years old when she moved to Waco, Texas.
If I had to guess, I would say that Dr Pepper was chosen by him because it is a catchy name. It was also advertised back then at a pharmacy as a health beverage.
It makes perfect sense that the Dr. has been added to the name of the brand to promote it.
However, Dr Peppers’ unique flavors and attractive names were a hit, so Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store sold more Dr Peppers to an extent that the demand exceeded the supply.
The Break Up
Charles Alderton, however, was more concerned with advancing his medical research.
Alderton saw the opportunity to focus on his medical career and stepped aside as Morrison made plans to expand his business.
Morrison recognized the potential of Dr Pepper and formed a partnership with Robert Lazenby, a local ginger oil business owner.
It was the perfect team-up.
Because Morrison was the brand and recipe creator, while Lazenby had vast production capabilities.
Together, they grew Dr Pepper to be a popular drink in Texas and a household favorite.
Unfortunately, Wade Morrision passed away in 1903 and the relationship between the two originalators ended with a tragic end.
The brand received massive publicity when Robert Lazenby, who was exhibiting Dr Pepper at the World’s Fair in Saint Louis, did the same thing the next year.
It was a huge success and things took off from there. Dr Pepper continued to prosper despite all odds and fierce competition.
Let’s get to the important question.
Is Pepsi or Coke Own Dr Pepper available?
It is important to mention that Dr Pepper is an independent beverage company within the Keurig Dr Pepper umbrella.
Is it Coke or Pepsi that owns it? It is far from it.
Many would believe so because Dr Pepper’s products are distributed by some Pepsi and Coke plants.
Coca-Cola was sued by Dr Pepper for $750,000 in 1951. Dr Pepper claimed that nickel coca-colas had been sold at too low prices and that they were preventing trade.
Coca-Cola did not stop there. They tried again to buy Dr Pepper in 1980, several years after Dr Pepper’s bankruptcy.
The deal did not work out and was rejected by the Federal Trade Commission, which in 1995 ruled against the attempt to monopolize the market.
However, Dr Pepper was licensed to Coke in certain countries outside of the USA by Coke.
Pepsi also has international distribution rights for Dr Pepper. These rights are available in countries where Dr Pepper does not have a significant market share to distribute its products.
The distribution and bottling of these beverages is handled by Coca-Cola and Pepsi facilities.
What is it made of?
The Dr Pepper recipe is a trade secret.
According to legend, the recipe was split in half and kept in safe deposit boxes in Dallas banks. This ensured that no one could ever get hold of the entire formula.
In 2009, however, a Bill Waters antique book ledger contained what appeared to be recipes and formulas.
He was flipping through the pages and found a recipe called “Dr Peppers Pepsin Bitters”. This recipe was an early version of the Dr Peppers drink.
Keurig Dr Pepper later stated that it was not the Dr Pepper formula but a recipe to aid digestion.
However, the collector decided to auction the book in May 2009. No one bought it.
Nobody knows the exact recipe for Dr Pepper soft drinks. Coca-Cola, rumored to be following the same pattern in order to keep its formula secret, is also believed to have followed the same pattern.
What is Dr Pepper Root Beer?
Not at all. It is not a root beer. It is not an orange, an apple or a strawberry. It is not even a cola.
This unique drink has a distinct taste. The drink has been rumored to contain prune juice since the 1930s.
Does Dr Pepper contain Prune Juice?
This question was answered by Dr Pepper in an official FAQ. It stated that Dr Pepper is a unique combination of artificial and natural flavors. It does not contain prune juice.
It is not clear what the basis of this claim is. It is believed that the claim was made by a Dr Pepper competitor’s delivery man, who tried to dissuade store owners from carrying the drink.
Some believe prune juice is one ingredient because it tastes similar to prune juice.
Dr Pepper is an individual part of the larger Keurig Dr Pepper conglomerate. It can be bottled and distributed by Pepsi or Coke depending on where you live.
Other than Dr Pepper, the Keurig Dr Pepper brand’s focal point, there are other products: 7Up Schwepps Schwepps Mott’s Clamato A&W Clamato Sunkist Soda (In any particular order).
Despite intense oppositions, Dr Pepper has been able to remain America’s favourite beverage, leading in flavor, taste and economic value.