Hoaxes & Rumors

Fake News: Dr Pepper to be Discontinued

Fake News: Dr Pepper to be Discontinued
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A graphic circulating on social media suggests that Dr Pepper will be discontinued in mid-2016. It’s not true.

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Dr Pepper Says Goodbye?

The graphic below appeared on social media in April 2016, with the claim that Dr Pepper sales had slipped due to competition. Thus, the graphic claims, the soda’s recipe would be purchased by Coca-Cola, which would in turn discontinue the beverage in mid-2016. The graphic reads:

An American Classic Says Goodbye!

After 131 years of quenching American’s thirst, Dr. Pepper announces it will halt production in the Summer of 2016. Though sales have always remained consistent, Dr Pepper says it can no longer compete with other soda producers using cheaper ingredients. Rights to the recipe have been sold to CocaCola Corp who says they will stop production sometime during the Summer of 2016. Dr Pepper you will be truly missed by millions of Americans!

The poorly-worded graphic has seen a high number of sharing on social media, even though no such announcements have been made by Dr Pepper or Coca-Cola. Perhaps the most damning evidence that the graphic is fake is that the text in the first sentence includes a period after “Dr.” which is not how Dr Pepper is written by the company. The period in the original name “Dr. Pepper” was dropped in the 1950s and has been stylized without the period ever since, reading “Dr Pepper.” That, along with the incorrect use of the word “American’s” instead of “America’s” in the opening sentence, is an unlikely oversight had this come from Dr Pepper itself.

The suggestion that Dr Pepper has suffered such a decline in sales is also without merit. The popular soda consistently ranks in the top 5 most popular sodas in the U.S.

The Dr Pepper Snapple Group does work with Coca-Cola and Pepsi bottlers on occasion, as it does not have a complete network of bottlers and distributors.

Dr Pepper Responds

Dr Pepper eventually responded to the rumor in humorous fashion, showing a can of Dr Pepper being crushed, and the hashtag #CrushingRumorsLike.

Bottom Line

The graphic that suggests Dr Pepper will be discontinued in 2016 due to declining sales is false. It isn’t clear where this fake graphic originated, but the information being disseminated by it is completely without merit. Dr Pepper eventually responded with a humorous tweet about the rumor.

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