Plano-Based Dr Pepper Wants Dublin Dr Pepper to Stop Selling the Good Stuff Everywhere

Categories: Dish, The Courts
drpeppersign.jpg
Courtesy Flickr user Rich Anderson
Last night KXAS-Channel 5 had a most fascinating story: Dr Pepper v. Dr Pepper. Specifically, Plano-based Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc. says the Dublin-based maker of The Real Thing (that is, a Pepper flavored with original-formula Imperial Pure Cane Sugar) is violating its 2009 licensing agreement that says the Central Texas bottler can only sell the good stuff in six counties: Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hood, Hamilton and Bosque. Says the suit:
Using the "Dublin Dr Pepper" logo, Defendant is selling across the United States from New York to California, throughout Texas, and in Plano, Collin County, Texas, through solicitations on its website, a toll-free number, its Facebook page, and to restaurants and retailers. This conduct directly violates the License Agreement's prohibitions on sales outside of the six counties and infringes the rights of Plaintiff and its licensed bottlers whose sales are diminished by Defendant's unlawful shipments.
As I wrote a couple of years back, when Heritage Auction Galleries was selling what was believed to be the original recipe for "Dr Pepper Pepsin Bitters," I remember well the days when my old man used to have to meet a dude in a parking lot to buy Dublin Dr Pepper -- very seedy for a soda. Then, of course, it started showing up at Central Market, and elsewhere, for around $7 a six-pack for those 8-ounce bottles-- very pricey for a soda. Then Plano-based Dr Pepper wised up last year and started selling 12-packs of real-sugar Peppers in 12-ounce cans to commemorate the 125th anniversary; Target sold the boxes of collectible cans (collect all six!) for a whole $4. Then Dr Pepper stopped, insisting it was a limited-time-only offering. My dad, who'd resisted the urge to hoard, hasn't been the same since.

Right now, you can't get the good stuff from the source via the Internet: "Many items recently on display -- including our 8 oz glass bottles and 12 oz cans -- are unavailable for internet purchase." The complaint, and one of the exhibits filed, follow. I'd recommend reading them at 10, 2 and 4. Dr Pepper v Dr PepperExhibit in Dr Pepper lawsuit

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
50 comments
Normawendleton
Normawendleton

Why don't they just start selling the old recipe under a different name, like un Dr, Pepper? I'd buy it.

phillip
phillip

This is typical stupid lawyer crap.  The sales of the Dublin Dr Pepper doesn't amount to a drop in the ocean compared to the regular crap sold at fast food places and gas stations.  This is more about what the consumer wants, and THE CONSUMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.  If I want something, then the morons need to cater to MY needs.  If not, they don't get my business.  If they can't figure that out (that the customer is right), then maybe they need to go out of business.  This isn't the first time I've been pissed at them.  Remember the old Dr Pepper plant that got turned into shops for douche bags and yuppies?  I'd rather they have turned it into a salvage yard.

I just sent a message of great disapproval to the imbeciles at Dr Pepper.  Go to their website and let them know what you think.

Jerry Hall
Jerry Hall

Why doesn't DP simply start selling the original recipe themselves no since the sell of Dr Pepper there Customer service has gone to the dogs. I sold Dr pepper in my restaurant but I started using coke due to Dr Pepper never bringing my orders. That’s where the money loss is not from a small bottler selling on the internet. Poor customer service and high prices Have pushed consumers away.

Patricia C Mulkey
Patricia C Mulkey

You can not force a consumer to "like" your product.  Basic economic fact.  If Plano has a problem with the Dublin bootleggers, then they need to rethink their problem.  Why does everyone in the Dallas area pay up to $8.00 a  6pk for Dublin Dr Pepper vs the cheaper product.     Because it is inferior.  I am a transplanted Texan living in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and I order my 2 cases of Dublin Dr Pepper delivered by UPS every 4-6 weeks depending on my moocher friends and neighbors.  Even the UPS man is in on the action.  It runs me about $1 per can and is well worth the price.  There is a superior taste and sense of physical satisfaction to consuming a cane sugar product vs the hfcs product.  And I am the most popular person in the neighborhood.  Thanks, Dublin Dr Pepper.

Not a DP drinker
Not a DP drinker

So what happens when Dr Pepper changes all of their plants over to use sugar instead of HFCS and the price of this "new" product makes people stop buying it? The reason large soda makers switched to HFCS is because it's cheaper to buy and easier to transport.

Jeremy Fleming
Jeremy Fleming

I hauled as many 12 packs as i could of the "heritage" dr. peppers back home to missouri from denver when i found it on the shelves there.  i drink only super premium sodas with real sugar. no HFCS fro me. i wish the bottles would realize that its not just a niche. people really want these. i buy imported from mexico coca-cola.  odd that mexico has better and healthier sodas than we do. 

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I have a serious feeling that this is going to be the nightmare that'll keep growing for DPSG, as it appears social media is joining in on the fight..ive found a couple of groups out there on Facebook that are taking aim at the corporate arm..

Roscoejett
Roscoejett

Something bland, boring and generic from Plano? Shocking!

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

As it's already been said, just mass produce Dublin Dr Pepper, enough said. It would be a boon to the country's sugar cane industry. Have a huge coming out party and grab some more of the market share. Win-win, am I right? But Plano DP just wants to poke it's lip out and pout. Big babies!

Can't wait for someone to erect a giant 'FREE DUBLIN DR PEPPER!" sign right on the grounds of the Plano-based company at 121 and Legacy! *hint-hint*

james
james

i used to be a dr pepper freak. now dr peppers taste like they've already been drunk once. overpriced dublin dr peppers are good. dr pepper  doesn't give a fuck about quality. in fact, they seem to want to choke off the ones who make it in the old way. that seems to be the GREAT AMERICAN WAY now. rather than try to be better and do better...just destroy any better competition before anybody else finds out about them. hey dp if you wanna fix this problem...try making good sodas again! then the dublin drinks will be nothin' special. how complicated is that?

EDM
EDM

The issue does not seem to be the use of cane sugar as a sweetener but rather the use of the term "Dublin Dr. Pepper" as a brand and in the logo.  Too bad I didn't pick up one of those Dublin Dr. Pepper logo coffee mugs the last time I was in Dublin.

Captain Pepperica
Captain Pepperica

Mr. Pibb isn't dead....And, i come from the era of only getting Coors in Colorado and learning about bootlegging at an early age -- I've got a pickup with a good engine and I can leadfoot on the backroads between Dublin and Dallas and I'm happy to help righteousness survive in a short Dr Pepper bottle ... Power to the Canepeople.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

Is this considered malpractice on the part of Dublin DP?

T-Bone
T-Bone

The real issue with soda isn't always sugar, It plays a part in taste, but the biggest factori s the pressure it is bottled at. I used to pay $40+ a case for Coca-Cola imported from Holland when Ifs Ands & Butts was in business

Clancey
Clancey

As a fledgling newsman I learned a painful lesson:

Don't ever ask the Chairman of Dr. P,  Foots Clements,  how he likes Mr. Pibb.

just sayin'
just sayin'

It all just tastes like carbonated fucking prune juice.

Peppery
Peppery

Dublin Dr Pepper is great tasting stuff. Maybe Dr Pepper/7 UP should consider bottling with Imperial Cane Sugar rather than corn syrup if they are so worried about it.

Christian Ritchie
Christian Ritchie

It certainly seems to me that if there is enough demand curve for Dublin to cause Plano concern, then it stands to reason that the best response would be to meet that demand. License agreement or no, nothing is standing in Plano's way in terms of competing, and indeed, it has distribution benefits that Dublin lacks. 

It's funny that companies cry out for free markets, but really only want it free enough to benefit them and no one else. Plano's answer to consumer demand appears to be simply limiting their choice instead of meeting it. 

Thelawwon
Thelawwon

Be a pooper, sue Dublin Pepper...

PantLoad
PantLoad

The Dublin bottler uses pure cane sugar. The other bottler's don't. There is a HUGE difference in the tastes. Head to Dublin and go to the bottler. There is an old fashioned soda fountain there. Get an DP float with homemade vanilla ice cream. Incredible.

Robert
Robert

The Startled Gram says that cane sugar Dr. Pepper is sold from Waco to DFW.

I know the Temple bottler has sold the so-called Dublin DP for years in Temple & Belton and that area.

Give me a cherry DP at Sonic with their great soft ice you can easily chew and I'll also take a bag of their ice home with me.

Edit: And I think I misread the S-T article. Temple has bottled the Dublin DP all along.

TimCov
TimCov

It is quite obvious that people are willing to pay a premium for sodas made from cane sugar. I don't see why the soda companies (Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola and Pepsi) don't just supply the market with what they want instead of the stupid "limited time" offerings.

I know that I purchase the cane sugar (aka Mexi-Coke) Coca-Cola whenever I can. It may be just a trick my brain plays on me, but they do taste better.

G_David
G_David

The 6-county rule is kind of confusing to me to begin with.  I do know they try and stick to the same distribution radius that that they were able to cover in a day with a horse-drawn cart, back in the day. However, the original formula sold in the 8oz. bottles and 12oz cans isn't even bottled in Dublin.  The only thing they do there is refill the returnable bottles, then trade them straight for cases of empties.  From what I understand, the cans and NR bottles are filled in Temple. I highly recommend a trip to Dublin if you want to buy in bulk.  They sell the bottles for $16.00/case and the cans for $10.00/case.  And the bottles (to me) taste noticeably better than the cans.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Why doesn't DP simply start selling the original recipe themselves? (on a regular basis). Seems that's what the customer wants.

Nick R.
Nick R.

I'm a pepper, your honor 

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

Mmmm, Dublin DP. Black Mollie in a bottle.

El Rey
El Rey

It looks like Dublin Dr. Pepper needs a new contract.As a side note, and I am not a legal scholar (nor do I play one on TV), since the Dublin recipe is a different recipe that the Plano recipe, they are not competing products, right?

pak152
pak152

How about Plano DP recognizing that Dublin's efforts only support the mother ship.. Plano is headed for a PR nightmare of the first order if they keep this up. have they not heard of supply and demand? apparently there is a REAL demand for the REAL thing. so figure out a way to expand production not kill it. next we need to kill the lawyers

Wes Scott
Wes Scott

I will bet that you also buy pirated software, pirated CDs and otehr stolen items. Dublin owns nothing. They have no right to blend and sell somebody else's recipe under any name. What you suggest is criminal theft and fraud. Are you a thief and fraudster?

Wes Scott
Wes Scott

I will bet that the execs at DP are just beside themselves that they did not consult with you before making decisions about what to do with their products and their properties! Hell, they probably fired themselves over those "stupid" decisions!

As one who has been in sales and marketing for nearly 50 years I can tell you that the customer is NOT always right! But, the customer does have the right to spend his or her money when and where he or she sees fit to do so. That is the limit of "the customer is always right."

Wes Scott
Wes Scott

Your problem was with a distributor/bottler, not with the Dr Pepper Company itself.

guest
guest

I too ship it out to california and colorado... along with blue bell ice cream-- I guess now that i said it someone will go after blue bell..

El Rey
El Rey

First off, I am not an expert in any way on corn prices. HFCS prices should be higher now that many farmers are growing corn to make ethanol. I wonder if the prices are competitive enough to make the switch? Sugar cane has a government subsidy program as well, so I'm not sure what the real price of the products are anyways.

Fun fact (totally off topic): The leftover plant fiber from sugar cane processing has turned out to be a wonderful product for cleaning up oil spills. Oil companys are buying up the stuff because it is a natural product, the natural bacteria and sugars break down crude oil faster than anything else, and it does not require extensive clean-up. The fiber booms just break down naturally.

Marc
Marc

If DP really wanted to return to the original formula, then they would stop this pretend game about pure cane sugar versus corn syrup and get back to a better proportion of syrup to carbonated water. Both Dublin DP and regular DP taste very watered down compared to the stuff I grew up on as a kid in Oak Cliff, and the biggest single difference is the quantity of carbonated water used to dilute the syrup, which obviously costs more than carbonated water. I clearly remember the "bite" of the original Dr Pepper, and neither of today's formulas have it.

G_David
G_David

Thanks for your insightful comment.  Really adds a lot to the discussion.

Damien
Damien

I just got 7-UP in glass bottles with cane sugar up in Frisco the other day.  12 oz glass bottles with an older style logo on them.  Not painted on like they used to be, since these were stickers, but definitely made with cane sugar & advertising it as such.

Anonymous
Anonymous

In the free market, these two entities entered into a license agreement. It had certain stipulations. They were potentially violated (hence the lawsuit). The free market doesn't mean you get to buy and sell anything you want just because the supply and demand exists.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Have you discovered Michoacana?  They are awesome carnecerias that are all over town.  If you want fajitas, chickens, marinated chicken,  someone to butcher a chicken or if you're into pork, they've got that covered as well.  They also have AWESOME prices on produce, especially the more durable kind, such as peppers (red bells for 99c/lb poblanos for 99c/lb, avocados and lemons, limes, especially key limes

scottindallas
scottindallas

but it all still tastes like Dr. Pepper.  I used to love it, now I only drink it when there's nothing else.  Think I'd drink a Zima over a Dr. Pepper.  And, I've never had more than two sips of Zima.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Really?  Considering how Pepsi has distributed all sugar Mtn Dew and Pepsi perhaps the mother ship, as you called it (grin) wants to do the same.  I also doubt the blowback that Dr. P will suffer for this. 

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

To be fair, s/he did say FUCKING prune juice. That's much better than regular prune juice.

Justin Phillips
Justin Phillips

no dublin dr pepper taste alot better then the dr pepper i get around ftworth since i live like 20 miles away from dublin and drink mostly dublin dr pepper there is a difference

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...