Dr. Pepper vs. Mr. Pibb
May 13, 2001 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Dr. Pepper vs. Mr. Pibb Why do some places have dr. pepper, and others Mr. Pibb? Contrary to urban legend, Mister Pibb is not simply the same as Dr. Pepper. in a different can, and the mister has its own taste and its own own raving wild fans

Nor is Mr. Pibb the only Pepper-imposter out there. There are at least a hundred store and regionals brands, such as Dr. Radical , Texas Fizz , or the shamlessly named Dr. Shasta.

The other pepper mystery: does it contain prune juice? This mystery appears to have been settled. At least according to Yahoo's crack team.
posted by brucec (40 comments total)
This wouldn't be a proper Dr. Pepper thread without a link to Kibo's Fake Dr. Pepper Roundup.
posted by Aaaugh! at 8:11 AM on May 13, 2001

Now, we've got both here in St. Louis, and always have, along with Dr. Vess and Schnuck's ripoff, whose name eludes me momentarily. Is it rare for the Pipp and Pepper to coexist?
posted by droob at 8:15 AM on May 13, 2001

I'm pretty sure Pepper or Pibb availability is dictated by whether a place sells just Coke or just Pepsi products. No prune juice? One by one, all of my childhood beliefs go up in smoke. Next they'll be telling us that Grape Bubble Yum doesn't contain spider eggs.
posted by gimli at 8:18 AM on May 13, 2001

Speaking as a connoisseur of Dr Pepper (note the lack of punctuation after 'Dr'), I can say that Mr. Pibb is an incredibly poor substitute for the original. The flavor is entirely different and definitely not an option for me, ever.

My only wish is that people who enjoy Mr. Pibb would admit it's not the same as Doc Pepper.

Still, you might want to try it hot. It's... uhm, yeah.
posted by hijinx at 8:21 AM on May 13, 2001

Mr Pibb was sold in the Netherlands for about six months to a year some time in the mid 70s. I loved it, but I must have been the only person who did cause it disappeared from the shelves and nobody even remembered it ever being there.

When Dr Pepper arrived in our country (early 90s?) and I had my first taste my immediate reaction was: 'But that's Mr Pibb!'
posted by prolific at 9:10 AM on May 13, 2001


Dr. Pepper carefully dangles out its license to the lowest bidder in each market. It can be sold/bottled by Coke, Pepsi or 7up, depending on the market.

In those markets where Coke has been outbidded by Pepsi, and they are not allowed to sell Dr. Pepper, they use Mr. Pibb to compete against Dr. Pepper. (St. Louis is most likely one of these markets)

In those markets where they can sell the Doctor, they generally don't sell the Pibb.
posted by brucec at 9:20 AM on May 13, 2001


the ad was put out by the old Dr. Pepper company in Dublin, TX (which still exists) Since they used cane sugar instead
of corn syrup, it may not have been as yucky as it would if you popped open a Pepper and boiled it today.
posted by brucec at 9:24 AM on May 13, 2001

at uva (charlottesville, va) we get not only pibb, pepper, and dr. shasta, but also mello yello, surge, fresca, and mountain dew. it's a venerable plethora of soda options.
posted by pinto at 9:47 AM on May 13, 2001

Dr Pepper is definitely my favorite, and I'm quite happy that the flavor of the diet version caught up with the regular stuff. One of my favorite wind-down drinks is a rum & Dr.

I miss all the old regional brands of soda. Only a fraction have survived and are usually sold as cheap grocery-store knockoffs. But I like seeking out the variants jsut for the chance to experience something new.
posted by dhartung at 10:39 AM on May 13, 2001

Anyone ever have Moxie? Don't ask me what it is. I tried it once as a child, and I've never had the nerve to try it again.
posted by jpoulos at 10:50 AM on May 13, 2001

brucec - That may be so; the cane sugar probably helped.

You all know you can get that pure Dr Pepper from Pop the Soda Shop, right? It tastes fantastic!
posted by hijinx at 10:58 AM on May 13, 2001

I've never tried Moxie, but a friend gave me a sign featuring Ted Williams and the slogan, "Make Mine Moxie." Pretty sure it's a reproduction, but I like it.
posted by gimli at 11:11 AM on May 13, 2001

Moxie.......eeyecchh! Carbonated pine tar in a bottle, that's what it is. I grew up not very far from the little town in Maine where they have the annual Moxie Festival every summer. A friend of mine from high school still makes it home every July to go to the festival. The sugar-free version could be used to strip paint.

When I was in grad school at Indiana Univ., I became acquainted with Vernor's ginger soda. Not ginger ale, mind you, ginger flavored soda. That and Blenheim's Extra-Strong Ginger Ale are some fine refreshing beverages. They're hard to find here in New England.
posted by briank at 11:49 AM on May 13, 2001

That Blenheim's looks good! I'd like to try the hot kind. Did you know that ginger ale made with real ginger is very effective for motion sickness? We usually bring some out on the boat with us and it has saved friends from a day of misery more than once. It actually works after symptoms begin, which is amazing.
posted by gimli at 12:12 PM on May 13, 2001

Speaking of soft drinks, the Citra available in the US of A is much different from the Citra available in India (It's actually a Thums Up brand, which was bought by Coke when they reentered the Indian market.) The Citra here tastes a little like the Limca in India, and the Citra in India is similar to Sprite or 7 Up. Limca and Citra are Thums Up brands, now owned by Coca Cola.

Another interesting thing is that Coke bought Thums Up and all it's brands in '93, and it still manufactures Thums Up (which was created to fill the cola void left by Coke when it was kicked out of India in '77 and happens to taste better than both Coke and Pepsi.) because it the west coast, namely Mumbai (Bombay) prefers Thums Up over Coke and Pepsi. Of course the fact is that it's based in Mumbai.
posted by riffola at 12:14 PM on May 13, 2001

I gotta know what Willie's Hemp Butterscotch Cream tastes like.
posted by rodii at 1:42 PM on May 13, 2001

mmm vernors and orange juice!

i remember drinking this stuff all the time when i was growing up in michigan; on the west coast it only started to show up when i moved away ... it was a hell of a lot more expensive than the other burned sugar water, but worth it.

there's just something about that taste that reminds me of the inside of an oak barrel. heh.
posted by fuzzygeek at 1:53 PM on May 13, 2001

According to the Yahoo commandos, Mr Pibb also has more caffiene than Mountain Dew
posted by
brucec at 2:41 PM on May 13, 2001

riffola: I remember Campa Cola in India from the time when (I think) the govt/ didn't allow the local production of Coke. Nasty nasty stuff. Now under Coke ownership, I think.

But I'd always assumed that Dr Pepper was a Pepsico product. (vs. Mr Pibb as with 7-Up/Sprite.) And we don't get Mr Pibb in the UK, and Dr Pepper's an acquired taste anyway. But I do miss root beer, which was fleetingly, fleetingly sold in the UK in the late 80s, before McDonald's did the deal with Coke, and was still selling McCola.

Anyway, we have Tizer and Irn Bru, so there. And dandelion and burdock.
posted by holgate at 3:04 PM on May 13, 2001

Best root beer I've ever had, and I've had many. It's expensive, but worth it. These folks make some great microbrews, as well.
posted by gimli at 3:14 PM on May 13, 2001

Does anyone know if Dr Pepper and Mr. Pibb were real people? (I only ask because I am planning an expedition to Nepal to scale Mountain Dew and wanted to invite them along.)
posted by bradlands at 3:23 PM on May 13, 2001

Dr Pepper: real.

Mr. Pibb: Entirely made up.

You've got to do the Dew, man!
posted by hijinx at 3:37 PM on May 13, 2001

Since moving to Vancouver, I've all but given up on Coke and Pepsi products in favor of Jones Soda. You have to love a company whose energy drink is called Can of WhoopAss. The FuFu Berry's not half bad either.
posted by likorish at 4:00 PM on May 13, 2001

The best Dr. Pepper clone is Dr. Skipper. It even has virtually the same can design.

Campa Cola is horrible tasting.
posted by toshiro at 4:04 PM on May 13, 2001

i own my very own can of whoopass! i keep it on my desk so i can make good on any threats i offer. *nod*

jones is a great soda company. they accept pictures from customers to put on their labels. they have great flavors (fufu berry is only the tip of the iceberg). and they've got the best sense of humor in the business.

thems and vernor's is mine favorites.
posted by carsonb at 4:52 PM on May 13, 2001

I'm still trying to remember the soda I had over in Sweden with a familiar logo. It turned out to be something entirely different from what I expected. Throat --> nose --> floor different.

(But then, the Swedes put BĂ©arnaise sauce on their hamburgers ...)

There used to be a huge Dad's Root Beer sign along the JFK in Chicago. I miss that one. (Bud and Magikist just don't cut it.)
posted by dhartung at 5:09 PM on May 13, 2001

bradlands, do not search Mountian Dew for the illustrious Mr. Pibb. He will not answer. he is simply part of a Coke marketing strategy
posted by brucec at 5:10 PM on May 13, 2001

I understand t-shirts, posters, logos on bookcovers. But a Mr. Pibb belt buckle? that's where I draw the line.
posted by brucec at 5:16 PM on May 13, 2001

Mr. PiBB was never able to threaten the predominance of Dr Pepper, which established primary name-recognition among consumers in the "cherry-flavored" carbonated beverage market.

Nice use of scare quotes there, Coke--I would never call Dr. Pepper or its clones 'cherry-flavored'. The only real cherry soda is bright red Regent (bottled in Pittsburgh!); nothing else compares. (Not even Godless Commie Dew, which doesn't even taste that cherryish.)

The Dr just can't be shoehorned into a flavor category. It's in a league of its own.
posted by darukaru at 5:33 PM on May 13, 2001

Funny, I always lumped it in with all the other black-cherry-vanilla-yogurt flavors.
posted by rodii at 5:37 PM on May 13, 2001

my, I'm dense today... wonder what led me to believe that was a Coke-sanctioned site...

Anyway, one of the things I want to do before I die is get some real Dr Pepper, made with actual sugar instead of HFCS. I think you can still get it in Texas.
posted by darukaru at 5:39 PM on May 13, 2001

The best part of Mr. Pibb, for me anyway, is its slogan: Put it in your head.

posted by amyscoop at 5:40 PM on May 13, 2001

holgate: Campa Cola, I believe was the Govt's attempt at making cola, but the best option in India was/is always Thums Up (it's a little fizzer and not as sweet as Coke or Pepsi.)

Campa Cola flopped because it was just down right nasty, just like Thrill, Double Cola, etc.
posted by riffola at 7:48 PM on May 13, 2001

darukaru: one of the things I want to do before I die is get some real Dr Pepper

hijinx: You all know you can get that pure Dr Pepper from Pop the Soda Shop, right?

at $.99 per bottle, it just might be worth trying.
posted by register at 8:27 PM on May 13, 2001

"The other pepper mystery: does it contain prune juice?"

Speaking of prunes - does anyone have any stewed prunes?

Well, if you do. Give 'em a little black coffee. That'll sober 'em up.
posted by FAB4GIRL at 11:32 PM on May 13, 2001

Has anybody tried the new Mountain Dew Code Red? Apparently a cherry-flavored version. I have a coupon for it, but haven't seen it anywhere yet.
posted by Ben Grimm at 6:24 AM on May 14, 2001

So many comments without one mention of Cheerwine? I'm amazed.
posted by trox at 6:28 AM on May 14, 2001

Ah, Mr. Pibb. I got addicted to caffeine with Mr. Pibb...

Across the street from Pasadena City College, where I was teaching at the time, was a taco stand. It served diet Mr. Pibb. Everyday I'd stop over for an extra large. And about 10 minutes after drinking the concoction I'd start to feel like everything was going to be ok! True. I had no idea why I was feeling this way and it took me a while to make the connection.

When I did I asked a co-worker if I could buy him one. After 10 minutes I asked him what he thought of it. And, you know, he answered by saying: "You know, I feel like everything is going to be ok." Same exact words.

Came to find out that, at the time, Mr. Pibb had one of the highest caffeine contents of any soft drink. I knew my time teaching at that school was near the end when the taco stand switched to diet coke. And, true enough, I got a job teaching at the University of Washington just a few weeks later.

At the U, I was walking to the gym one day and spied the Coca Cola man. I stopped him and asked where I could buy a can of Mr. Pibb. I think he thought I was nuts but gave me the name of the regional manager. Called her and she gave me a drug store in suburbia. Sad thing was it no longer had the kick I had experienced from the taco stand.

Apparently, the taco stand had been mixing the Mr. Pibb syrup with the carbonated water at a very high ratio: I was getting quite a large portion of Mr. Pibb essence for my money.

So, when the Seattle Pibb high never came to fruition, I turned to coffee and the rest, as they say, is history.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 7:27 AM on May 14, 2001

The Dr just can't be shoehorned into a flavor category. It's in a league of its own.

actually, that's right. in soda business lingo, the market has even been called "doctor-flavored" sodas, much to the chagrin of those who like the Mister. Doc Pep outsells Mr. Pib about 17 to 1.
posted by brucec at 9:04 AM on May 14, 2001

I'm sure. The taste was very strong and I think, as I said their syrup to water ratio was high. It was also consistent in taste and effect for at least a year.

Take that, coupled with the already high caffeine content and mayhem is sure to follow.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 2:36 PM on May 14, 2001

« Older Mr. Casual dies, he was 87.   |   K....A....B....O....O....M....! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments