The Search for 7up

In a recent discussion with Oven Glovers, I realized once again the loss of the 7up brand at all major restaurants.  As a Pepsi product, 7up had often been a part of my general youthful dislike of Pepsi products (stupid restaurant – where’s my Coke?).  It was also the source of much fun in the form of the game Heads Up, Seven Up.  As I reminisced about my last drink and my last drink together, I realized it had been awhile since I’d seen 7up in a restaurant.  The light soda battling Sprite had become Sierra Mist, an unworthy opponent even for the questionable 7up.  Everybody knows that Sierra Mist is now a Pepsi product, but 7up is still available in grocery stores.  What had happened?  Did 7up suddenly split off as a company?  Were they bought out?  Was it all a result of the popular ‘Make Seven Up Yours’ campaign?

I easily discovered that 7up is part of Schweppes in the US and Pepsi in other places around the world.  But more information was not available.  When did that happen?  Also, the 7up website lists it as part of a Dr. Pepper company.  Huh?  I thought the Dr. was Coke!  This site gave 1986 as the date that the Pepper and the Up merged, but I can remember the Uncola being all around restaurants after that time.  I needed more info.

So.  The end of the story is various.  1) Certain drinks (like Dr. Pepper and 7up) have different owners in the US and other countries, meaning that even the drink recipes could vary between countries.  2) Dr Pepper and 7up have been together since 1986, after various fallouts and mergers, ending with a 1995 merger with Cadburys.   3) Cadbury Schweppes is the #3 soda distributor in the US after Coke and Pepsi.  Evidently this means they can be friendly with each other and get mutually agreeable distribution contracts at places like Hardees.

This article does fill in a little more about recent trends.  However, there is little I could find that links up why 7up and Dr. Pepper are not typically served together.  The search continues…

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3 Comments

  1. Shannon said,

    February 17, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    silly sister. Coke has Mr. Pibb, the Dr. twin.

  2. sedgehammer said,

    February 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    What kind of a name is ‘Pibb’ anyway?

  3. Leona said,

    February 19, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Drink recipes do vary according to country. Of course, I didn’t drink cola before I went to Japan, so I cannot attest to the differences between US and Japanese versions of Diet Coke.

    In some places, Coke has the distribution rights to Dr. Pepper (and such), and in other places Dr. Pepper (or perhaps Schweppes) has distribution rights. That’s why at home in high school Dr. Pepper would be on sale with Coke, and when we went to my grandparents, Dr. Pepper would come on sale by itself. Or something like that. It probably also had to do with the fact that the RC Cola/7Up/Dr. Pepper/Schweppes manufactoring plant also was in my grandparents’ town.

    Distribution rights don’t last forever, but they do explain why sodas like Dr. Pepper and 7Up go on sale with Coke in some places but have their own sale in other places.


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