January 11, 2012

Goliath buys out David

Many a time, when headed to Blownstar and other points south and west, my family would stop in Dublin, Texas, for a Dr Pepper or request an order from whoever was making the trip.  The bottler in Dublin made Dr Pepper with Imperial sugar, the old fashioned way.  In recent years it became easier and easier to find cane sugar sweetened Dr Pepper in local grocery stores, but it wasn't 'Dublin Dr Pepper' and the trip to the bottling plant, museum and soda fountain in Dublin was still a fun thing to do.  And that is the only place I know of that serves Frosty Peppers (vanilla Blue Bell ice cream with Dr Pepper syrup drizzled over the top).

Alas, Dublin Dr Pepper is no more.  Dr Pepper Snapple sued the small bottler last year for violating the sales territory agreement and who knows what else.  Today, the suit was settled with Dr Pepper Snapple buying out Dublin's distribution rights.  Everyone claims that cane sugar Dr Pepper will continue being made (probably at the Temple plant that has been shipping it to grocery stores), it just won't be called 'Dublin Dr Pepper'. 

If you haven't ever heard of Dublin Dr Pepper, you might be surprised to hear that the crux of Goliath's suit was that David (Dublin Dr Pepper) was diluting their brand name and stealing sales.  (The bottling machinery runs once a week).

They laid off 14 of their 40 employees right off the bat.  Right after they changed the websites and signs.  Some companies would pay millions of dollars to have a niche market driven by a cult-like following of people wanting to purchase a specific version of their product.  Not those crazy Dr Pepper Snapple guys.  Kinda makes me want to have a Coke Shiner.

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