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Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Performance in the Soft Drink Market

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The carbonated soft drink Dr Pepper was invented in Texas in 1885, and remained under the control of what was later known as Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc, until being purchased by Cadbury Schweppes in 1995. Cadbury Schweppes was already a major player in North American soft drinks through ownership of such brands as Canada Dry.

By the turn of the century Cadbury Schweppes owned four major beverage companies in North America: Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., Snapple Beverage Corp., Mott’s, and Bebidas Mexico. They were all merged together to form Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, which was then spun-off to form an independent soft drinks company in 2008. This new company was named the Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG), and is now the world’s fifth-largest soft drinks company. It is publically held and listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol DPS.

DPSG is one of the world’s largest soft drinks companies

DPSG is the world’s fifth-largest soft drinks company and third-largest carbonates and juice company. While many of the world’s largest soft drinks companies are based in North America, none are as reliant on it as DPSG. Outside the Western Hemisphere it has virtually no presence, and its key brands are distributed by other companies. Its namesake carbonates brand Dr Pepper, for example, is distributed by Suntory in Europe, and The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) in Asia.

These geographic restrictions mean that DPSG is considerably smaller than its major rivals, TCCC and PepsiCo – a situation that is unlikely to change as long as other companies distribute its major brands in most of the world.


Dr Pepper Snapple Group's Global Market Shares

dr pepper global market shares

Source: Euromonitor International

The namesake brands drive sales

The portfolio is diversified and the company has a large number of brands with at least USD100 million in revenue. Dr Pepper and Snapple are the most important brands for the company, and between them account for around 43% of revenue. Many of the rest of DPSG’s brands are carbonates, which is a major problem given the negative outlook for the North American carbonates category.

However, DPSG is much more reliant on the still-buoyant mixers category than The Coca-Cola Company or PepsiCo, making its carbonates exposure less of an issue than for its rivals. In addition to its own brands, DPSG distributes a number of “allied brands”, which include FIJI bottled water and Body Armour sports drink.

North America is responsible for the majority of sales

As its most important brands are licensed to other companies outside of the Western Hemisphere, DPSG only has significant operations in Latin America and North America (although DPSG-produced products can sometimes be found as imports in other areas). The United States alone represents 83% of global volumes. Adding in Canada and Mexico brings the proportion to 98%. DPSG’s products can be found in most countries in Latin America in small quantities, but the Caribbean is the only other area in which the company operates directly.


DPSG's Retail Sales by Country in 2016

dr pepper in north america map

Source: Euromonitor International

Within the USA, consumption tends to be higher within the south and mid-west (DPSG is based in Texas, and has traditionally been stronger in Texas and nearby areas). DPSG has no known ambitions outside the Western hemisphere, and is instead focused on diversifying its product portfolio in areas in which it already operates. Bai products are being sold in the UK, but they are imported, and local production has not begun, although it has been discussed.

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