Dr Pepper shakeup crushes soda fans
A special variant made in Texas halts production after the parent company sues the bottler.
The soda, produced at the tiny Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling plant in Dublin, Texas, has been a cult favorite for years. Fans loved that it was still made from cane sugar and not high-fructose corn syrup. Locals saw the soda as one of the last economic strongholds in a struggling town with a population of just 3,800.
The bottler even added the word "Dublin" to the labels of its Dr Pepper and sold the soda on its website. In retrospect, that may have been its undoing.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS), which owns Dr Pepper, sued the plant in June, saying Dublin Dr Pepper was diluting the Dr Pepper brand and hijacking sales from other Dr Pepper bottlers, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Diluting the brand? Consider this: The Dublin bottler had sales of $7 million a year. Dr Pepper Snapple Group had sales of $5.6 billion in 2010. And, the Journal reported, Dublin Dr Pepper makes up less than 1% of Dr Pepper's annual U.S. volume.
But those numbers would not sway Dr Pepper Snapple Group. And as the lawsuit headed to a bitter settlement, it became clear that Dublin Dr Pepper would shut down. The world's oldest Dr Pepper bottler has now changed its name to Dublin Bottling Works. It will no longer produce Dr Pepper.
Anything with the Dublin Dr Pepper logo on it is being destroyed, The Dallas Morning news reported. Dr Pepper Snapple Group says the same cane-sugar version will be produced by another bottler in Temple, Texas, but it won't have the special Dublin logo.
And so the region said an emotional goodbye this week to the Dr Pepper that bears the Dublin name and carries so much of the city's legacy. The plant laid off 14 workers. One nearby resident told the Abilene Reporter-News she would never buy Dr Pepper again. "I'm very upset that the parent company didn't realize what they were doing to such an icon," she said. "They took that away, they strong-armed them and took it away."
Others nationwide joined in the outpouring of emotion and anger. "Dear Texas, Go buy all the Dublin Dr Pepper you can, while you can," celebrity chef Alton Brown posted on Twitter. "Then go out and shoot a bottle of Snapple."
The last few bottles of Dublin Dr Pepper have become hot items on eBay (EBAY). One bottle was selling for $22 and had received five bids as of Friday morning.
I am totally shocked by the closing of the Dr. Pepper Plant in Texas. I live in New Jersey, and have made special side trips, when I was out west, in order to pick up a case of Dublin Dr Pepper. Give me a break Snapple. 5.6 Billion is not enough. You have to eliminate a small competitor to increase your bottom line? I will never buy another bottle of Dr Pepper again! I am totally disappointed in the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.
I have always been a big fan of Dr Pepper. Not any longer. Nor will I purchase any DR Pepper Snapple products in the future. Big mistake on the part of the parent company. If something has worked for so long, why mess with it. Prayers for the workers who will be let go.
There is a petition at change.com, this webiste would not let me post it because it is a hyperlink. A simple google for the petition (Give Dublin Dr.Pepper back their distribution rights) should pull it up..please find and sign.
I will no longer allow Dr. Pepper products in my house. And as soon as I find out the other products that Dr. Pepper Snapple produces, I will also stop buying them. And my entire family agrees with me. They too will stop buying Dr. Pepper Snapple products. Maybe if enough folks do this, Dr. Pepper Snapple might come to the realization that respect for tradition is more important than the dollar they are so infatuated with.
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