Dublin Dr Pepper Asks Fans to Contribute to Its Legal Defense Fund

Categories: Beverages, News

15534626_83e0b07e16_z.jpg
Photo by megpi
This bottle of Dublin Dr Pepper made it all the way to Los Angeles.
In late June, the 120-year-old Dr Pepper plant in Dublin, Texas announced that it was being sued by its parent company, Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS).

The plant, which is the world's oldest and smallest Dr Pepper bottler, found itself at odds with DPS after repeated warnings not to distribute their Imperial cane sugar-sweetened Dr Pepper outside the 44-mile radius of the small town. The soda, the only Dr Pepper sweetened with cane sugar, is notoriously popular throughout Texas -- as well as the rest of the world -- and Dr Pepper bootleggers are infamous for buying the soda in Dublin and distributing it to the four corners of the earth.

Just because its soda is popular, however, doesn't mean that the little plant -- which only has 37 employees -- has a lot of money to fight its legal battles. So they've turned to the public and Dr Pepper fans across the world for support, asking them to contribute to a legal defense fund to help fight the DPS lawsuit.

5402673370_f01706cc57.jpg
Photo by TheSeafarer
This Dublin Dr Pepper was found in a store in Oklahoma, far outside the 44-mile distribution area around Dublin, Texas.
"We've been extremely proud and overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to support us," says Bill Kloster, president and CEO of Dublin Dr Pepper.

"Our customers treasure our product and recognize that we're a small business that's been drawn into an expensive fight against a corporate giant. We dearly appreciate everyone's support."

And an expensive fight it will be: DPS is not only asking Dublin to cease selling outside of its distribution area (a fair request, all in all), but it's also asking a federal court to prevent the plant from using the iconic "Dublin Dr. Pepper" name on its drinks and in its business. DPS also wants Dublin to cease sales of the soda through its website and toll-free number. And as a final blow, DPS is also is asking for attorneys' fees.

The Dublin plant has already raised $25,000 for its fund. But how far will that support go? With the nation in a recession and everyone's purse-strings tightened, will people be willing to part with their hard-earned cash for something as commercial as a legal defense fund for a soda?

We polled our readers on Facebook and Twitter, and a surprising number of people leaped to Dublin's defense.

157813029_f901de3974_z.jpg
Photo by Broken Piggy Bank
If DPS gets its way, you won't see the Dublin Dr Pepper logo anymore...anywhere.
"If I could afford to, I would," wrote Dustin Kalman. "However, maybe I'll just buy more Dublin Dr Pepper instead."

To that end, the Dublin plant is providing incentives to fans who donate: A contribution of $50 or will net you Dublin Dr Pepper memorabilia, including a new "Save Dublin" Lawsuit Edition T-shirt.

"Dr Pepper isn't providing what the customers want, and then they're going to sue someone who is," said Jo Gonzales -- also known as my mother -- responding on Facebook, and referring to the high-fructose corn syrup found in regular Dr Pepper. Gonzales purchases the Dublin variety because she wants to drink the soda she grew up with -- without the HFCS.

"It's corporate arrogance at its worst," she said. "We're not going to give you what you want, and then we're going to make it impossible for you to get what you want. It's a big F U to customers."

Amber Ambrose, editor of Eater Houston, disagreed: "I don't have a lot of money to spend on charitable donations," she wrote. "When I do, it goes to help something more important on a human level than a soft drink."

Frequent EOW commenter Greg Norris sided with Ambrose, adding: "Like a spouse suing in a divorce, would friends kick in to help? I'm with Amber, as a consumer I show my support by purchasing the products I like. The line is drawn there for me."



Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords
My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Jay_marcom
Jay_marcom

The story about Dr Pepper Snapple Group of Plano, Texas, the parent company, suing a small Dr. Pepper bottling company in Dublin, Texas makes me mad at Corp America.

Dublin Dr Pepper has long been the benchmark of the Dr Pepper line of products. The CEO of DPS Group was quoted as saying there is nothing better than a "Dublin Dr Pepper".

As a result of the lawsuit, Dublin Dr Pepper has stopped shipping product outside the 44 mile radius of the plant in Dublin, Texas.

"Peppers" across the country had become accustomed to ordering Dublin Dr Pepper and having it shipped to them.

Now a website has been setup to do just this... ship Dublin Dr Pepper to "Peppers" across the United States.

ONE FLAT FEE. JUST ORDER AND IT SHIPS!

www.dublinbeverage.com

Anything you can do to get the word out to the media sure would make a lot of "Peppers" happy!!!

Thanks,

Jay

BAMBLIN52
BAMBLIN52

I have a granddaughter that cannt drink anythink with corn syrup so when i am in that area i buy  Dublin Dr peppers for her . We need to keep this drink for people like her. Please help.  

Michael Siever
Michael Siever

Why doesn't DPS just buy the DDP plant and sell the soda for a premium price and mass distribute it? Coca-Cola seems to have no problem distributing Mexican Coke, so why can't they just let bygones be bygones? They used to be the same company, so why are they bashing them for using cane sugar and their name? It's like they want to destroy a part of their own history. This would be like if George Lucas told us the only version of Star Wars he wants available for us to see/buy is the one where Han Solo doesn't shoot first. Oh, wait...

Jalapeno123456
Jalapeno123456

Someone should set up a link for " click to donate " or 88donate " to text to for an auto donate. I just looked for a link. :-(

tee-wee
tee-wee

VERY little research will tell you that "the only Dr Pepper sweetened with cane sugar" is an inaccurate statement. You can get non-Dublin dr pepper sweetened with imperial sugar in many places now, in plastic bottles. While it strips away some of the sexiness of the story, this is the second time, at least, that this mistake has been made in a story about sugary dp on eow.

boxingoctopus
boxingoctopus

To me, donating to the defense fund, if you have that kind of money to spare, is as valid a gesture as any in the fight against Big Ag. 

Accentjim
Accentjim

Post on the Dr. Pepper Facebook page - if they're overwhelmed, it will take the intern longer to delete the posts from everyone, and more of the general public will learn about this.  https://www.facebook.com/DrPep...

Gil Velasquez
Gil Velasquez

Do you have contact information for Bill Kloster, CEO of Dublin Dr. Pepper? @jrightmyer (my attorney) may have some time to donate some of his extensive litigation services pro bono to the cause to ease their overall legal bill.

WineLush
WineLush

I still want to see the contract that enabled Dublin Dr. Pepper to retain the name & production as it currently exists. 

trisch
trisch

I'm also curious to understand the agreements that underpin this situation.  DDP has a tough road ahead.  $25K will barely get them through the initial response to DPS's complaint, much less into the actual meat of the litigation.

Gil Velasquez
Gil Velasquez

And you now that DPS will bury them in motions.

Cafe Luz
Cafe Luz

Will now contact Dublin about donating proceeds from DDP sales to the cause at Cafe Luz & let you all know when we get it together. Until then, please help us join the fight against the HFCS soda corps & drink local soda made with real sugar. If it's too expensive for your family, we'll teach you how to set up your draft system & provide you with syrups, really!Cheers,Cafe Luz, your Houston craft soda fountain

Megan
Megan

If DPS prevails (which, unfortunately, they probably will), be prepared to see Dublin Dr Pepper go away.  There's no way they'll be able to survive, especially since DPS has lawyers that will charge $300-400/hour.

If anything, wouldn't this show DPS that there is a market for cane-sugar sweetened Dr Pepper?  The fact that they're burying their heads in the sand on that issue is mind-boggling.

soulsabr
soulsabr

My main problem isn't the loss of the Dublin facility, though I would miss it terribly, is that Dr Pepper doesn't understand how bad their product tastes else where.  I main use the Dublin name to assure me that I'm getting the Temple plan Dr Pepper.  And I will donate; we little guys need to stand up to the corporations who want to take things away that we love and cherish over money.  Wake up, Dr Pepper, we wouldn't order it and pay the shipping costs if it didn't actually taste better.

Gil Velasquez
Gil Velasquez

Amen to what Megan said - seems dumb not to keep that cash cow going.  If I was DPS, I would throw them more money.

Gil Velasquez
Gil Velasquez

And if anyone wants a nice explanation of why HFCS does not metabolize the same way, meet  a scientist whose videos I like because he speaks plain ol' english - here is a vid I like to share about HFCS versus real sugar... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Gil Velasquez
Gil Velasquez

I find this fascinating because after having heard the young woman who spoke as the Marketing Director for the regional Dr. Pepper-Snapple group speak at an AMA Function - I got the impression that they "do not see themselves in the same category" as these types of natural sugar cane sodas and so they do not categorize it as competition. As such, it stands to reason that going out of one's way to sue on such a basis of competitive infringement based on distribution seems not only trivial it seems just like bad public relations (if they are not competition, why sue?). Instead of them suing, it would stand to reason that what they should do is make a product that matches the quality and calibre of Dublin Dr. Pepper, do not sue the company that makes it. What happened to competition making us better? [Also, in case anyone wants to know, Dr. Pepper considers itself number one in its soda category for sales. That's because they created their own category called "Pepper Flavoured Soft Drinks" and thusly claimed the title as number one. The next one down their list I believe is Mr. Pibb followed by the Maker's Mark / Sam's Version of Dr. Pepper.]  If there is a clear case of violating an agreement, let's see it.  Otherwise, this whole thing is bad from the Dr. Pepper end - after all, one can assume that Dublin pays them some portion of sales.  Why stop a good thing?

rgwalt
rgwalt

It all comes back to Archer Daniels Midland and the Big Ag / Big Corn lobby in Washington.  DPS doesn't want to spend the money on putting real sugar into their soda because it is cheaper to use HFCS.  The reason HFCS is so cheap is thanks to tax subsidies to Big Ag / Big Corn.  In effect, we are all subsidizing consumption of HFCS sweetened beverages with our tax dollars.  Add to that the fact that the government wants to impose a second, direct sugar tax, and the whole thing is absurd.

The little guy doesn't stand a chance in this fight, but I will continue to support them by purchasing their product.

Corey
Corey

Hate all things HFCS...

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...