There are a lot of Dr Pepper clones out there. This is another one. What's the difference? Well, Doc 360 cranks up the caffeine content quite a bit. But is it good?
I first encountered Doc 360 at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show in Chicago last fall. It's produced by WIS-PAK, a large Pepsi bottler out of Wisconsin. They came up with the formula on their own to distribute to markets looking for a Dr Pepper alternative, as they have manufacturing locations not only in "America's Dairyland," but also Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
I must say, I'm impressed by the packaging approach, in that it's not just another "Dr. [Fill in the Blank]". The drink looks contemporary and energetic from the packaging design. From the sales sheets I was given at the show, it's interesting to read who is being targeted by this drink. An excerpt:
Doc 360 take the consumer out for a full circle of flavor. We know once they try it, their tastebuds will flip.
The term 360 is also closely associated with the extreme sports world. The extreme sports market segment has been exhibiting rapid growth in the popularity over the last decade.
This segment fits perfectly with Doc 360, it allows and encourages individual creativity in the innovation of new maneuvers and in the stylish execution of existing techniques.
Who's It Made For?
Heavy users within the flavor category, Millennials & Gen-Xers, C&G consumers [Convenience and Gas], mostly male 18-34 years, looking for value, variety, & stimulation.
These are the people who pride themselves in participating in challenging, cutting-edge activities and are constantly searching for new ways to test themselves.
You'll note that none of this sales text actually talks about the flavor of the drink itself. Given this positioning, however, I can understand why they are attempting to describe this drink as "The Mountain Dew of Dr Peppers". It's a Pepper clone that's higher in caffeine and positioned at the same Dew market.
As for the taste, it's actually very good. It doesn't taste exactly like Dr Pepper, obviously, but it's a pretty good copy. I'd say it's missing some of the spicy "kick" that we associate with the original, but it's not bland by any means. There's a quality sweet flavor there. I'd definitely drink it again.
I think I was more impressed with Diet Doc 360, because while you could tell that it was a diet drink (sweetened with aspartame and Ace-K), it had a decent aftertaste and flavor. The scent, coloring, and base taste all are in line with what's you'd expect from Dr Pepper. Nice job!
The big differentiator that Doc 360 likes to make is with caffeine content. Regular Dr Pepper contains 3.42 mg/oz of caffeine. Doc 360 and Diet Doc 360, on the other hand, contain 5.0 mg/oz. (For comparison with their target market, original Mountain Dew contains 4.5 mg/oz.) So you basically have a Pepper clone with an energy drink-type emphasis.
Overall, if you can find Doc 360, it's worth a try for something a little different, but familiar. Recommended!
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, natural & artificial flavors, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate (as a preservative), and caffeine
A 12 oz can contains 150 calories, 55 mg sodium, and 40 g carbs (40 g sugars).
Diet Doc 360
Carbonated water, caramel color, natural & artificial flavors, phosphoric acid, aspartame, sodium benzoate (as a preservative), caffeine, and acesulfame potassium
A 12 oz can contains 0 calories, 55 mg sodium, and 0 g carbs (0 g sugars).
Official Website: DrinkDoc360.com