Tiny Texas bottler bullied out of ‘Dublin Dr. Pepper’ business

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, January 12, 2012 11:23 EDT
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A bottle of Dublin Dr. Pepper, which is made with pure cane sugar. Photo: Flickr user jenny8lee.
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The famous “Dublin Dr. Pepper” soft drink is going away — and with it, potentially a town’s whole economy

Made with pure cane sugar instead of corn syrup or beet sugar, Dublin Dr. Pepper has a devoted following around the southern state and around the nation. This week, however, the largest Dr. Pepper distributor in the country bought out the oldest Dr. Pepper bottler in the state, after it sued, alleging the Dublin label had diluted their brand.

The result: Dublin Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. will no longer make Dr. Pepper, which it began bottling in 1891. Instead, 14 of their 37 employees were fired this week, and the bottler says it will focus on making other cane sugar beverages instead.

The lawsuit was filed by Plano, Texas-based Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc., which accused the tiny company of selling Dr. Pepper beyond the geographical boundaries it had previously agreed to.

Going forward, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. will kill the Dublin Dr. Pepper brand and sell its own cane sugar beverage in “nostalgic” packaging, lacking the Dublin logo.

The small bottler in Dublin will still operate its Dr. Pepper museum and old fashioned soda fountain, a major tourist draw for the central Texas town, which only claims about 3,800 residents.

The bottler is the largest employer in Dublin. Much of the town’s economy is based upon tourism dollars and sales of Dublin Dr. Pepper.

This video is from Dallas news station WFAA, broadcast Jan. 11, 2012.

Photo: Flickr user jenny8lee.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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