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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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 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.