Coming Soon: Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar"

Well, if you missed out on Heritage Dr Pepper when it was available for a limited time earlier this year, then you are in luck… because Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" is coming.

Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar"

Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar"

This release is for a limited time to celebrate Dr Pepper's 125th anniversary over the summer (specifically, "through September" or "while supplies last"). As such, they'll have 6 different can designs and a special bottle look. Soda enthusiast forums such as Salute to Soda have been talking about this since April and the news hit mainstream with a recent Associated Press story.

6 collectible cans of Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar"

6 collectible cans of Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar"
(Source: Beverage Industry magazine)

The May 2010 issue of Beverage Industry magazine also hinted at the release when covering the history of Dr Pepper, calling the sugar-sweetened product Dr Pepper Heritage.

Bottle: Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar"

Bottle: Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar"
(Source: AP)

The folks over at BevNet's forums report that this new Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" will be available in markets where Coke has the bottling rights to Dr Pepper, namely the bottlers of Coca-Cola Enterprises (or CCE).

12-pack package design for Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar"

12-pack package design for Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar"
(Source: AP)

Specifically, it's being produced in bottling plants that can handle "liquid sucrose", i.e. refined sugar which can be a generic description of either cane sugar, beet sugar, or a mixture. Based on what was used in Pepsi Throwback, Mountain Dew Throwback, and Heritage Dr Pepper, our guess would be that beet sugar or cane/beet combo is being used in this new Dr Pepper — it's just cheaper to make that way. As such, this drink most likely will not be Kosher. This also makes the drink substantially different from Dublin Dr Pepper, which is bottled in Dublin, TX, and exclusively uses Imperial Pure Cane Sugar (this is typically considered the best Dr Pepper you can find).

Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" can design

Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" can design
(Source: AP)

The default to Coke-owned bottling sources isn't much different from the release of Heritage Dr Pepper, which was available in locations where Pepsi bottled Dr Pepper (and frankly, made it somewhat harder to find). It's also not confirmed at this time if other bottlers will be involved in the distribution of Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar".

Will it taste the same as Heritage Dr Pepper? We'll have to taste it to find out. Hopefully, the 125th Anniversary edition of Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" will be easier to find for everyone to enjoy.

Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" can design

Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" can design
(Source: AP)

Finally, you know one thing we are looking forward to with this release? Well, of course it's the inclusion of sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). I mean, c'mon, it just tastes better. But beyond that, it's actually the novelty of 6 "collectible" can designs! Here at BevReview, one of the first things that attracted us to the world of drinks was all the different cans that used to be featured "back in the day". I mean, do you remember Pepsi's "Cool Cans"? Nowadays, with the 20 oz. plastic bottle gaining dominance as the preferred way to sell and market drinks, you don't see a much in the way of unique can design, so we applaud the folks at Dr Pepper for making effort here with a tip of the hat to cans!

Here's the official press release from the Dr Pepper Snapple Group:

Dr Pepper Commemorates 125 Years With Collectible Cans Honoring Its Heritage
Limited Edition Cans Available Through September

PLANO, Texas, July 7 /PRNewswire/ — Dr Pepper, the oldest major soft drink in America, continues its 125th Anniversary celebration with the release of Dr Pepper made with real sugar in six collectible cans, inspired by the beloved brand's rich history. Consumers can enjoy the 23 flavors of Dr Pepper in this new packaging beginning in early July through early September.

Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" can design

Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" can design
(Source: AP)

The anniversary cans feature legacy artwork and popular advertising slogans such as "I'm a Pepper" and "10, 2 and 4." In addition, 12-pack cases highlight key moments from the brand's history from its origin at Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, TX, in 1885, and its introduction at the 1904 World's Fair, to the widely popular "I'm a Pepper" advertisements first released in 1977.

"Dr Pepper has evolved for 125 years, thanks to its unique flavor and a fan base that continues to grow," said Dave Fleming, director of marketing for Dr Pepper. "We're honoring the brand's legacy and thanking our fans everywhere for their support by offering something special – commemorative cans depicting some of the most memorable moments in our history."

Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" can design

Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" can design
(Source: AP)

Dr Pepper kicked off its anniversary year on the symbolic date of January 25, 2010, when Dr Pepper ad icons David Naughton and Gene Simmons rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Continuing the celebration, the brand launched its Dr Pepper Cherry flavor during Super Bowl XLIV. The ad spot featured Gene Simmons as "Doctor Love" joined by Paul Stanley and their KISS band mates as well as tribute band MiniKISS.

Dr Pepper 125th Anniversary product is available in 12-oz cans with six collectible can designs and 20-oz bottles at retailers nationwide, until supplies last.


Also, if you missed it, here's the AP's take on the new release:

Dr Pepper orders sugar for 125th anniversary
by Emily Fredrix (AP)

NEW YORK — Dr Pepper is prescribing some sugar this summer in honor of its 125th anniversary, the latest in a series of moves by soda makers to temporarily swap out high fructose corn syrup.

The spicy soda made by Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. is rolling out Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" this weekend through early September.

Cans and bottles will feature old logos in the company's deep red, and colorful designs with lions and bright swirls of color harkening back to the 60s. Popular phrases such as "I'm a Pepper" also appear.

There are six different can designs. The company wanted to bring back the sugar version to help highlight its past, which dates to the creation of Dr Pepper by pharmacist Charles Alderton in Waco, Texas, in 1885.

Dr Pepper declined to say if it will try out sugar in other brands such as Canada Dry, 7-Up and A&W Root Beer.

Manufacturers are testing sugar drinks as people's appetite for them increases, as some become concerned about high fructose corn syrup. Though they're nutritionally almost identical and equally caloric, some consumers believe corn syrup is less healthy than sugar.

They're also racing to come up with natural, no-calorie sweeteners and reformulate their beverages, though they haven't been able to apply that to major soft drink brands yet.

Last summer, rival PepsiCo Inc. launched real sugar versions of Pepsi and Mountain Dew, calling them "Throwback" and using old packaging designs. Pepsi Throwback was so popular the company brought it back for a brief time in the winter. It declined to say what the drink's prospects are for the future.

Coca-Cola Co. offers a kosher version of Coke that uses sugar (look for bottles with yellow caps), often available around Passover. Mexican-made Coca-Cola, which also uses real sugar, can sometimes be found in the U.S., and fans pay a higher price for it. One Dr Pepper bottler, Dublin Dr Pepper, has been making the soft drink with sugar since 1891, in the drink's home state of Texas.

More could be coming. PepsiCo's Sierra Mist line will now be reformulating into a sugar-sweetened version called "Sierra Mist Natural," according to a report Thursday by trade publication Beverage Digest. PepsiCo, based in Purchase, N.Y., did not return messages seeking comment.

The industry switched to high fructose corn syrup in the 1970s as a cheaper alternative to sugar, said Gerry Khermouch, editor of Beverage Business Insights.

There seems to be growing demand for it, as evidenced by Pepsi's success with Throwback, even the second time around, he said. But drink makers are also wary of sending a message that there's anything wrong with high fructose corn syrup.

"In some ways their worst nightmare is that this thing sells through the roof, because then that's telling them something about how consumers feel about their product," he said.



  1. Dan Sullivan says:

    Went to Ireland and Scotland last summer. No hfcs allowed. Dr Pepper and 7 Up in 8 oz glass bottles or 16 oz plastic bottles. Let them say what they want about them being chemically the same but drink the real deal for a couple weeks and the US versions taste like weasel wee. I'm old enough to remember what it was like pre- hfcs. I go all the way back to machines that dispensed the bottles from a tank of cold water or you could get them at them at the fountain counter in a real drug store. I'm not talking small town I'm talking about 2 blocks from Wrigley Field.

  2. Yo Jerry Moore, you can get Dublin Dr. Pepper at Real Soda in Real Bottles in Gardena, California (they have over 1600 different sodas at the absolute best price). You can also check out your local upscale wine/alcohol store. Usually upscale, nice wine markets carry specialty sodas. Hope this helped.

  3. Nyx Avalon says:

    i live in texas and I recently found Dr pepper with Imperial can sugar in the 8 ounce bottles they are amazing. And I mean AMAZING!

    I still drink the other cans with HFCS becuase i like Dr. Pepper. But I horde the imperial stuff.

    and noting on the other retro 7 UP I saw it was at a tom thumb and i bought it yesterday. one of each design the cans match the box design I intend to save them for a Halloween party.

  4. The story about Dr Pepper Snapple Group of Plano, Texas, the parent company, suing a small Dr. Pepper bottling company in Dublin, Texas makes me mad.
    Dublin Dr Pepper has long been the benchmark of the Dr Pepper line of products. The CEO of DPS Group was quoted as saying there is nothing better than a "Dublin Dr Pepper".
    As a result of the lawsuit, Dublin Dr Pepper has stopped shipping product outside the 44 mile radius of the plant in Dublin, Texas.
    "Peppers" across the country had become accustomed to ordering Dublin Dr Pepper and having it shipped to them.
    Now a website has been setup to do just this… ship Dublin Dr Pepper to "Peppers" across the United States.
    Anything you can do to get the word out to the media sure would make a lot of "Peppers" happy!!!

  5. Jay, I guess because of the lawsuit and all, the store that is the portal into the original Dublin Dr Pepper bottling plant, Old Doc's Soda Shop, is currently not selling internet orders of Dublin Dr Pepper. I had ordered from them in the past online, , but the shipping is what really hurts. It's not their fault, that's out of their control.

    The ONE FLAT FEE you mentioned about Kathy's store is the price with the shipping included, despite the FREE SHIPPING they mention. The price of a case of 12oz cans was only $10. But to have several cases shipped to me added up to the price on Kathy's site. Years later, I made a road trip to Doc's store and the price was still the same, $10. Check their web page and call them at the number they have posted. If you're ever in the area, stop in, have a bite to eat from their deli, and take a tour of the plant that was the first to put Dr Pepper in a bottle.

  6. I have been drinking the original Dr. Pepper with pure cane sugar for over 65 years, 4-6 a day and have been really disappointed in the one made by Pepsi now. It may be real sugar but not pure cane and it also has to much carbonation to it. I have traveled though Europe and you can still get the original one there. I don't know who makes it but I can tell here in the US it is not as satisfying as a pick me upper at 10-2- and 4. They need to reevaluate their mixture and process. I am now cutting down on intake and that will cost the company money if all us oldies do the same.


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  4. [...] retardation that appears to be inherent in the generation, when we applaud Dr Pepper for using real sugar for their 125th anniversary.  I think it is absolutely stupid for youngsters to fret over the [...]

  5. [...] I guess "Real Sugar" needed another friend besides Pepsi Throwback, Mountain Dew Throwback, and Dr Pepper "Made with Real Sugar". "Made with Real [...]

  6. [...] as far as taste, to better judge the flavor, we compared regular Dr Pepper, Dr Pepper with Real Sugar, Diet Dr Pepper, and Dr Pepper Ten. The results were rather surprising. In short, we found that Dr [...]

  7. [...] limited release "real sugar" trend in soft drinks via Heritage Dr Pepper (bottled by Pepsi) and Dr Pepper with Real Sugar (bottled by Coke). Of course what got this whole thing started was the rollout of PepsiCo's Pepsi [...]

  8. [...] and Mountain Dew Throwback. We've seen Dr Pepper go that route not once (Heritage), but twice (… with Real Sugar). Sierra Mist went Natural. 7Up jumped in with Retro earlier this year. Smaller brands that haven't [...]

  9. [...] eliminate competition so that DPSG could release a "throwback" version of their drink on a larger scale to go against popular retro versions of Pepsi and their other beverages. It's just a shame [...]

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