Dr. Pepper Outranks Pepsi as Second Largest US Soda Brand

By Jose Resurreccion

Jun 04, 2024 05:29 AM EDT

Dr. Pepper Outranks Pepsi as Second Largest US Soda Brand
Cans of Dr. Pepper soda are displayed on a shelf at a grocery store on June 03, 2024 in San Anselmo, California. Dr. Pepper has tied Pepsi for the second most popular soft drink in the United States behind Coca-Cola.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Regarding sodas in the United States, Coca-Cola retains its top spot. However, Pepsi, the traditional second-place holder, is being quickly upstaged by a new challenger: Dr. Pepper.

According to market share data provided by Beverage Digest, Coca-Cola has a comfortable lead of 19.2% of the US soda market, while Pepsi and Dr. Pepper received 8.3% each. 

Despite Pepsi and Dr. Pepper technically tied in second place, Beverage Digest editor Duane Stanford told CNN that the latter had been technically ahead because it is a spicy alternative to cola.

Conversely, Pepsico, Pepsi's parent company, has been focused on its other brands, such as its food businesses, such as Quaker and Frito Lay.

Dr. Pepper has been around since 1885, outdating both Coca-Cola and Pepsi. While the cola war peaked in the 20th century, the brand established a small but devoted following in the American South. It broke out into the rest of the US in the 1970s. 

READ NEXT: Poppi Soda Brand Facing Lawsuit, Alleging It Deceives Customers About Health Benefits

Pepper Acquires Kalil Bottling, Experiments with Other Flavors

Another factor contributing to Dr. Pepper's stellar market performance was its acquisition of Arizona-based bottling and distribution firm Kalil Bottling for an undisclosed amount.

Just Drinks reported that Kalil was already bottling drinks for Keurig Dr. Pepper (KDP), the brand's parent company and that the deal would see the firm add another production facility in Tucson and several sales and distribution centers in Tucson and Tempe to its assets.

A third factor in Dr. Pepper's prominence is its current experimentation with new flavors, such as strawberries and cream. 

READ MORE: 7 Iconic Brands With Surprising Names Before Getting Into Fame

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