Dr Pepper has been around for well over 100 years and during that time, it has inspired a number of other similar tasting soft drinks from other companies. The best known of these competitors is Pibb Xtra, an offering from the Coca-Cola Company. Here"s how these two spicey "non-cola" drinks compare to each other in terms of history, ingredients, and market share.

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Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper was invented in the early 1880"s by Charles Alderton, a pharmacist in Waco, Texas. It was first served around 1885 at Wade Morrison"s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco. Alderton gave the formula to Morrison who came up with the name Dr. Pepper. The period in "Dr." was removed in the 1950"s.

There are a number of theories about the inspiration for the name Dr. Pepper. The theory mentioned on the Dr Pepper web site is that Morrison named the drink "Dr. Pepper" after the father of a young girl he was once in love with.

Dr Pepper has undergone several changes in ownership over the years. It is currently sold by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, who claims that the beverage is the oldest major soft drink in the United States. It is available in Regular, Diet, Caffeine Free and Cherry varieties.

Dr Pepper has spawned many other competing soft drinks with similar names. These include Dr. Thunder (Walmart), Dr. Joe"s (Trader Joes), Dr. K (Kroger), Dr. Shaw (Shaw"s Grocery), Dr. Schnee (Vess Soda), Dr. Perky (Food Lion), and Dr. Pop (Moran Foods).

Pibb Xtra

Pibb Xtra, also known as Pibb and previously sold as Mr Pibb, is a cherry-flavored soft drink produced by The Coca-Cola Company. It was introduced in 1972 as "Peppo" to compete against Dr Pepper but after Dr Pepper filed a trademark infringement lawsuit, the drink"s name was changed to Mr. Pibb.

In 2001, the Mr. Pibb formula was revamped to have more cinnamon formula and the name was changed to Pibb Xtra. As Coke describes it, Pibb Xtra was introduced as a "bolder" version of the original Mr. Pibb.

Pibb Xtra is is primarily sold in the U.S., whereas Dr Pepper is distributed worldwide. In spite of spending millions in advertising over the years, Pibb has never really threatened the market dominance of Dr Pepper which has name recognition and a 100-year head start in its favor.


The ingredients in regular Dr Pepper include carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate, and caffeine. In some markets, sugar is used in place of high fructose corn syrup. Contrary to what many people speculate, Dr Pepper does not contain prune juice.

Pibb Xtra contains carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup and/or sucrose, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate, caffeine, monosodium phosphate, and lactic acid.

Caffeine and Nutrition Information

A 12 ounce serving of Dr Pepper contains 150 calories (all from sugar), 52 mg of sodium, 42 mg of caffeine, and 40 grams of carbohydrates.

A 12 ounce serving of Pibb Xtra contains 140 calories (all from sugar), 42 mg of sodium, 41 mg of caffeine, and 39 grams of carbohydrates.

Taste Preference

Dr Pepper has long been known as a drink with a unique taste thanks to a blend of 23 secret flavors. It"s not a cola, a root beer, or a cherry drink although it is a bit reminiscent of each. Some say the taste is like a spicey or peppery cherry cola.

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Some die hard Pibb drinkers claim it is a superior drink because it lacks the aftertaste of Dr Pepper. Dr Pepper fans have been known to disagree. According to Coke"s web site, Pibb Xtra"s bold taste and graphics appeal to young adults who are looking to get the most out of life and the most out of their soft drink. It appeals to teens who are just gaining independence from home and looking for things to call their own.