This article is from the Dr. Pepper FAQ, by Christopher Flaherty with numerous contributions by others.
The most famous (or is that infamous?) imitation, Mr. Pibb, is
Coca-Cola's unsuccessful effort to drive the good Dr out of the
market. According to Phil Thomas's site, misterpibb.com (the most
thorough Pibb site I've seen so far), "Mr. PiBB was born in the summer
of 1972," with test-marketing beginning on June 28 of that year.
Chris Houser on his Pibb page
(http://bluWeb.com/us/chouser/info/pibb/) stated the drink was
"originally sugar-free," but that seems to be incorrect since Thomas
has a very detailed section on the history of sugar-free Mr. Pibb, "a
saccharin-sweetened version of [the] spicy cherry carbonated soda,"
which was apparently first test-marketed in 1973. In any event, you
can find the fructose and sucrose-laden Mr. Pibb in most places in the
Southern and Midwestern U.S., and almost nowhere in the Northeastern
Interestingly enough, Advertising Age reported in their December 1,
1997, issue that Coca-Cola was planning to release a brand new
knock-off of Dr Pepper sometime in 1999--probably due in no small part
to sluggish sales of Mr. Pibb, which had only a 0.6% share of the US
soft drink market in 1996, compared to Dr Pepper's 5.8% share.
However, as of this writing, I have yet to see any evidence that this
new concoction has been released anywhere, so maybe Coca-Cola decided
to quit while they were ahead--or is that behind?
Originally, I had a table here listing 38 different DP clones, but
then I saw a web site with a table listing over 50 clones, including
pictures and locations where they were all bought, so I decided to
leave well enough alone. Suffice it to say, if all accounts are
accurate, there are over 70 different past and present Dr Pepper
imitations out there--and none quite as good as the original, of
course. If you want to know more, these sites stand out:
Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too . . . is the largest index of
clones and clone sites that I've seen. The leader in the field with a
mega-list of imitations and a picture next to each name. The
compilation picture of fakes is worth a visit all by itself, but the
rest of the site is no slouch either.
Not Quite What The Doctor Ordered is a comprehensive, well-researched
site which has rankings and pictures for each clone.
Kibo's Fake Dr Pepper Roundup has a taste test of several fakes.
Dr. Beverages Page is a colorful list of the various Pepper-like soda
cans collected by
Lars Christensen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The (Not Very) Authoritative Doctor Soda Page lives up to its (now
parenthetically appropriate) title, listing only 27 sodas total (and
that's including Dr Pepper and Diet Dr Pepper). But since the
author's from MIT, I'll forgive them; people there have more important
things to do than track down all the DP clones in existence.
Dr Pepper Rip-Off Page is an evangelistic clone page, waging war
against all "infidels" who dare to doubt the superiority of the
I'm a Pepper! is now part of the greater freezepop.net site,
dedicated to the band, freezepop--though this particular page doesn't
seem to be easily accessible from within the site itself. Anyway,
here is chronicled an annual taste-test of clones which has been
taking place every year since 1999, and it's definitely deserving of
props for the effort, detail, and breadth going into these tastings
each time. Though I did take the authors to task a while ago for
singling out Dr Pepper for its "pruney-ness" (see question 2.1 if
you're still not sure about the prunes yourself), the tasting trail
that's been blazed in the interim has made up for it. Well done!
Dr. Pepper Rip Off Reviews [sic] is an interesting attempt at clone
comparisons, hindered only by its significant lack of clones: only 9
are listed and only 2 are tasted. Good luck.
Dr. Schnee Memorial Chapel is a site dedicated--obviously--to Dr.
Schnee, of all things, listing a few other clones in the process.
The Van Gogh-Goghs' Doctor Soda Taste Test! compares 46 different
sodas (45 clones plus the original), which should be enough to keep
most people busy for a while.
Their main page:
Dr. Pepper and the Imposters [sic] is a short page which offers some
large pictures of the original and some imitations to those
Fake Dr Pepper Land is a slick looking site that gives you a brief
tour of a few dozen imitators via Flash animation. I must admit, it
has some of the most nicely photographed cans out there; but the site
is also completely lacking in details about the individual brands
themselves. The best feature: Free desktop wallpaper of all the fakes
in one place! It's not quite as impressive as the massive picture of
fakes on the "Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too..." site
(http://www.marion.ohio-state.edu/fac/schul/drp/images.html), but it
will fit on your screen all in one shot.
The Quest Of The Dr. Thunder Clones is a site that I seemed to have
overlooked in my travels, since I first noticed it in April, 2003, and
it doesn't look like it's been updated since April, 1999. I suppose
I'm lucky I didn't miss it altogether, considering how so many of
these other sites have disappeared! Anyway, this site turns the clone
idea on its head, by presenting 9 drinks which are allegedly clones of
Dr. Thunder--and one of the clones is Dr Pepper?! See for yourself;
there's not much else there.
Dr. Jason is Alive! is a list of 49 clones, many of which seem to have
been "donated namelessly by a weak, annoying person." A few more
photos wouldn't hurt.
Dr Crap at afiler.com is a one-page review of 5 clones with some
Dr. Goldberg contains intensely personal reviews of 29 clones
(although one of them is Dr. Brown's Black Cherry, which I don't think
should be included, since Dr. Brown's was established 16 years before
Dr Pepper was invented) with clickable closeups, if you're so
Robert Paloutzian's El Genero(r) Brand Web Page has a nice group shot
of 29 DP clones on top, followed by a picture of 14 Mountain Dew
clones on the bottom.
There were once even more imitation sites out there, but--like so many
other places on the Internet--a bunch have shuffled off this
electronic coil. Among the missing are:
The Dr Pepper "Clone" Page last seen at
Dr Pepper Clones last seen at
Dr Kenton's Generic Dr Peppers last seen at
OOO's list of Dr. Pepper Clones [sic] last seen at
(probably serves it right for calling itself "officially the original
list" of clone sites)
The Dr. is IN!!! last seen at
(probably serves it right for containing the exact same list as the
one on polyholiday.com)
Mmmmmm... Dr. Drinks last seen at
In addition, a brand new category was added to Yahoo! on November 12,
1998 (the same date this FAQ was added to Yahoo!): Home : Society and
Culture : Food and Drink : Drinks and Drinking : Dr Pepper :
Imitations. And all six "New" sites in this category were--drum roll
please--the first six sites from the original list way back when there
were only six sites to choose from. In other words, this FAQ is now
responsible for a new Yahoo! category! And to think I thought I
wasn't influencing anyone . . .
But, lest you think Yahoo! is the only game in town, another engine
named dmoz.org also has a category for DP pretenders:
Last time I checked, dmoz.org had more sites listed than Yahoo!, but
both had less entries than the list above you now. Whether either one
will catch up before the other is anyone's guess.