In Memorium: Dublin Dr Pepper

I went to lunch today at a particular local deli because I knew they stocked both Amano chocolate and Dublin Dr Pepper and I wanted to pick up some of both.

Oddly I could not find any Dublin Dr Pepper.  When I inquired, they informed me that it no longer exists!

It turns out that this isn’t entirely true, but it is true enough.  Corporate Dr Pepper sued Dublin last year and early this year they entered into an agreement which resulted in Dublin halting production.  It turns out that most of the Dr Pepper sold in Dublin Dr Pepper bottles was actually made at another plant, which will continue making Dr Pepper with cane sugar, but without the Dublin branding.  It seems that the fact that you could buy Dublin Dr Pepper outside of their franchise area was an issue, and you can no longer order cane sugar Dr Pepper online.

In my opinion, this is a stupendous mistake on the part of Corporate Dr Pepper.  The original bottler was selling the original product and connoisseurs appreciated this.  If other bottlers felt hurt, they should use cane sugar as well.  And no, HFCS is not cane sugar and beet sugar isn’t cane sugar either.  Instead of catering to the real Dr Pepper lovers they’ve cut off our supply.  You’ve kicked sand in the face of your most ardent supporters.  Someone (the moron that thought this was a good idea) should be fired over this.

For this that want more information on this sad event, The Dallas Observer has details.


15 thoughts on “In Memorium: Dublin Dr Pepper

  1. Looks like an unavoidable trademark issue. If you don’t police your trademarks, you lose them, so corporate DP may have had little choice.

  2. I am sure that a solution could be found to any trademark issue that didn’t involve basically killing off the product. People aren’t special ordering the product because they’re idiots. Why alienate your most loyal customers by making sure they can’t get a product they’re willing to pay five times the normal price for?

  3. We spent our Spring Break in Glen Rose, Tx, which isn’t too far from Dublin. There were stores there that were selling some of the last bottles of Dubln Dr. Pepper for hundreds of dollars a piece.

  4. John, a solution was found, and it didn’t kill the product, just the “Dublin” name attached to it.

    The legal problem at issue is the name “Dublin” attached to the corporate owned trademark. That’s a trademark problem no matter how you look at it. It’s the tail wagging the dog. Corporate DP would be idiots to keep letting them do that.

    They apparently think they can capture the market that was flowing to the Dublin product by continuing to make a cane sugar version elsewhere, like Mountain Dew is now doing. It won’t be called “Dublin” anymore, but there will be a cane sugar Dr. Pepper. If that product is going to be made, how is DP killing off the product? Are you just sentimentally attached to the Dublin name and bottle design?

  5. It isn’t much of a solution if I am unable to purchase it. You can no longer buy it outside the immediate vicinity. And it isn’t that a solution was found. The family that owned the franchise for 121 years was bullied into giving it up.

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  6. If DP is going to make a cane sugar product, I’m sure they will make it available generally. The family that owned Dublin apparently wouldn’t agree to stop marketing the product in the improper way they were doing it. It’s not a surprise that DP decided to cut off their bottling license when they refused to market the product in accordance with corporate wishes. How stupid do you have to be to not know that DP corporate owns all the rights and you have to market their product according to their rules?

  7. MCQ,

    That is nice that you are sure, but that doesn’t make the product available.

    You might want to read up some more on the topic. The claim is that Corporate endorsed and encouraged this behavior for years and coordinated with Dublin until Cadbury spun them off.

    In any case, the cane sugar product is not available to me. Feel free to check here:

  8. I didn’t say it would be available instantly. Just be a little patient and they will get it out there.

    I did read that about DP corporate going along with Dublin’s behavior for many years, but so what? Sounds to me like the new corporate owners finally got someone on board with a clue about trademark law. You do not want to lose rights in your valuable trademark, and the DP trademark is one of the oldest and most valuable marks anywhere.

    The problem with Dublin’s argument is that it it’s basically attempting to say that DP has already lost all the rights to police their trademark by acquiescing in Dublin’s behavior. That plays into DP’s hands, because they are claiming that policing their mark is exactly what they are now doing, and that if they didn’t do so, they would lose trademark rights. See the problem?

    The better way to go for Dublin would be to agree to take “Dublin” off the label in exchange for an exclusive license to continue to market the cane sugar product through their bottling plant and store. There was no way they were going to get exclusive internet rights, but they could have at least stayed as a DP licensee if they had been willing to change their marketing practices. Now, they’re out. Sucks for them, but they had no chance of winning the legal argument they were making.

  9. I agree that would have been a reasonable solution. It also seems like the Corp Dr Pepper lawyers had Dublin over a barrel so nothing reasonable was going to happen.

    In any case (ha!) I’m willing to wager you a case of sugar cane sweetened Dr Pepper in a glass bottle that I will not be able to easily purchase said case within a year. What do you say?

  10. You’re on. I have faith in the marketing dept. at DP Corporate. I say they will roll out a cane sugar product with a throwback label (ala Mtn Dew) within the next year. Check your local grocer.

  11. I loved Dublin DR Pepper. But I bought far more Snapple than DP..Make that past tense.
    Snapple can rot in hell. If it says Snapple, I don’t buy it
    I will not be checking my local grocer. Market that.

  12. It’s a pretty good bet for you John, because you get your case of cane sugar Dr. Pepper either way! But I’m happy to make the bet, because I want some too.

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