Dr Pepper Price and Guide 2021

Introduction of Dr Pepper

When discussing Dr Pepper, it is important to get the elephant in the room out in the open first. Yes, the period is missing after the Dr (doctor) purposefully. The original name included it but marketing stylization removed it altogether somewhere along the way.

Well, the original name of the product we all know as Dr Pepper was Waco. This branding, lacking imagination, came from the name of the town it was created in - Waco, Texas.

Dr Pepper makes its 1885 establishment date known by representing the date on its cans, bottles, and other labels. Why? Dr Pepper is widely considered the first soda to ever hit the market (ahead of the likes of Coca Cola and Pepsi - both of which hit shelves in the years shortly thereafter).

A pharmacist, Charles Alderton, created the drink and shared it with the store owner nearby. The drink was then shared via the store’s soda fountain before its national debut in 1904.  

Dr Pepper has been notoriously slow to release alternate flavors, unlike some other soda brands. Currently, there are only a handful of alternate Dr Pepper flavors available with the most popular being Dr Pepper Cherry.

Defining Dr Pepper can be tricky, as it was legally ruled not to be a cola because of its unique flavor profile when compared to other sodas. Let’s just simply call it Dr Pepper and avoid any legal challenges!

Dr Pepper Prices

Dr Pepper represents a unique product that has managed to avoid any real competition in its 125-plus years of existence. Of course, over such a time span many have tried and apparently failed.

One reason for this lack of direct comparisons is the closely-guarded secret recipe. Many have attempted to guess at it including a since-proven false claim that prune juice was a dominant ingredient.

There is one notable challenger from none other than Coca Cola that has attempted to make headway into this unique market segment. Several iterations later, Pibb Xtra has yet to claim any substantial market share over Dr Pepper.

Dr Pepper vs Pibb Xtra

While fans of both Dr Pepper and Pibb Xtra will claim major differences, Pibb Xtra claims the spot as the only realistic challenger to the taste of Dr Pepper.

Pibb Xtra entered the world as Peppo, Coca Cola’s attempt at competing with this soda with a cult-like following. The name Peppo was deemed a bit too similar by the legal system, so Coca Cola changed it to Dr. Pibb. This name obviously did not fly either so the final solution was to call it Mr. Pibb.

Despite a decent following in the United States, the brand felt the need to re-up its image and changed the name to Pibb Xtra while adding some intense graphics to its labels.

Pibb Xtra is rarely seen outside the United States, allowing Dr Pepper to enjoy a global hold on the unique cherry-flavored soda market. A 2L bottle of Coca Cola’s Pibb Xtra is often found for about 25-cents less than the same sized Dr Pepper.

For that little price difference, it will likely come down to preference for most consumers.

Dr Pepper vs Other Sodas

As mentioned earlier, it is quite challenging to compare Dr Pepper with any other product available across the beverage industry. Aside from Pibb Xtra, the next closest option would likely be a handcrafted-soda made by a local producer. 

Finding a product like this would surely take some trial and error. Many handcrafted sodas from local vendors cost between two and five dollars for a 20-ounce serving. This would obviously be a higher-priced alternative to Dr Pepper.

Common Dr. Pepper Prices List



Avg Price

Dr Pepper Soda

18 x 12 oz Can


2L Bottle


Dr Pepper Soda Mini Cans

18 x 7.5 oz Can


Diet Dr Pepper

18 x 12 oz Can


Dr Pepper Ingredients

As we have learned, Dr Pepper guards its secret formula quite passionately. Common knowledge has portrayed the combination of taste as containing 23 distinct flavors. However, we can count ourselves fortunate enough to be able to view its general ingredients:

  • Water (Carbonated)
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Color (Caramel)
  • Phosphoric Acid
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • Caffeine

The sugar content of a regular Dr Pepper is high, leading to the 250 calories found in a 20-ounce bottle. The brand offers diet and TEN (10 calories) options, which limit calories by using alternative sweeteners like aspartame.

Dr Pepper has managed to continue to hold on to its “one of a kind” flavor profile. While Coca Cola made an effort at providing a similar product, most tasters agree that they are not quite the same.