Dr Pepper climbs into tie for 2nd in U.S. soda rankings, report says

Dr. Pepper is now tied with Pepsi as the No. 2 soft drink brand in the U.S., new research shows.

DALLAS — Move over, Pepsi. Or at least make room.

Texas’ own Dr Pepper is now tied with Pepsi as the No. 2 soft drink brand in the U.S., according to new research reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Both brands are still well behind Coke, which has long held the dominant market share on soft drinks, according to Beverage Digest data cited in the report.

In 2023, Coke held 19.18% market share, while Dr. Pepper and Pepsi were around 8.30%, the data said. *Technically,* Dr. Pepper held the slight edge at 8.34% to Pepsi’s 8.31%, but it was virtually a tie for second, which is a long way coming for Dr. Pepper.

The Texas-founded brand, which dates back to 1885, has gradually increased market share over the last 20 years, growing from the 5.50% range in the early 2000s — and fifth among major soft drink brands — to its current standing, surpassing Diet Coke and Sprite to tie with Pepsi.

The Wall Street Journal report cited the rise of Dr. Pepper’s “big marketing investments, novel flavors and a quirk in Dr. Pepper’s distribution,” which has allowed the drink to be on more soda fountains than any other brand.

While Coke and Pepsi typically have exclusive deals with certain restaurant chains, the Journal reported, Dr. Pepper “has alliances with both sides.”

Dr. Pepper is unique from Pepsi and Coke in that it doesn’t have a traditional cola taste. Instead, it’s a syrup blend of 23 different flavors — as evidenced on the Dr. Pepper logo — that was invented by pharmacist Charles Alderton in Waco in the 1880s.

The company ultimately relocated its headquarters to Dallas, near Mockingbird Lane and Greenville Avenue, where the old Dr. Pepper clock still stands today. Dr. Pepper eventually merged with Seven-Up, and the two brands were later acquired by Cadbury Schweppes in the 1990s when the company relocated its headquarters to Plano.

Today, Dr. Pepper is under the Keurig Dr. Pepper corporate structure.

And no, there’s still no period after Dr. all these years later.

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