For years, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company co-existed peacefully, and were even pretty cozy with each other. Dublin Dr Pepper’s product was original-formula Imperial Pure Cane Sugar Dr Pepper, which they had bottled since 1891, and which corporate honchos referred to as “a good partner” whose very existence only “fuels the passion of Dr Pepper fans.”
However, that relationship went up in smoke last June when Dr Pepper Snapple Group sued Dublin Dr Pepper for violating terms of a licensing agreement that confines the sale of their product to six Texas counties: Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hood, Hamilton and Bosque – an accusation which Dublin Dr. Pepper denied. The real reason behind the suit may be found in the fact that corporate had recently launched their own version of the beverage that was close to the original recipe and bottled with the same throwback appearance as Dublin’s product. That’s when things went downhill:
In short, Corporate Dr Pepper has attempted to reap the benefit of Dublin Dr Pepper’s hard work over the past several decades. More importantly, and given Corporate Dr Pepper’s recent foray into making Dr Pepper with sugar (albeit a blended beet sugar), it is apparent that this suit was not brought to protect the public (who is not confused about anything Dublin Dr Pepper has done) or independent bottlers. Rather, it is likely that Corporate Dr Pepper simply wants to eliminate Dublin Dr Pepper from, or severally limit its ability to be in the market for Dr Pepper made with sugar, a market that Dublin Dr Pepper has created and maintained for the past several decades.
The settlement, which was just announced, reveals that Dublin Dr. Pepper will cease to exist, and the company will be renamed Dublin Bottling Works Inc.
“We want to thank our many customers for their support of our family-owned business during the past 120 years, and we want them to know that Dr Pepper is still a big part of Dublin,” says Dublin Bottling Works vice president Jeff Kloster in a statement. “We hope customers will continue to visit our town, the W.P. Kloster Museum and Old Doc’s Soda Shop, where they can still enjoy Dr Pepper sweetened with cane sugar.”
Although the settlement cost 14 jobs and brought about the end of their staple product, Dublin will continue to manufacture soft drinks with pure-cane sugar, including Triple XXX Root Beer, NuGrape and SunCrest among others.