Monday, August 24, 2009

What is Dublin Dr. Pepper?

Here in Texas it isn't a mystery to anyone, we see "Dublin Dr. Pepper" all the time and it is starting to show up at more and more fast food restaurants. But I'm betting that some of you out there haven't heard of it, so here's a little background:

Dublin Dr. Pepper is only different from the regular Dr. Pepper soft drink in one important way... Pure Cane Sugar is as a sweetener instead of HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup).

With all the hub-bub about HFCS these days (justified or not), a lot of people seek out products without it and for Dr. Pepper fans who want to eliminate HFCS, this is their only option.

But what about taste? Just about everyone you ask, including myself, will tell you they can definitely tell the difference between Dublin DP and regular DP. With Dublin DP the sweetness is more 'natural' and many claim there isn't an HFCS aftertaste that is noticeable with beverages sweetened with HFCS.

But why Dublin? Well, Dublin Dr. Pepper is only produced in one place: Dublin, Texas. (By the way, we also have towns in Texas named London, Athens, Paris, and 'Cut and Shoot'!)

In the late '70s when most soft drink makers were switching from cane sugar to HFCS, the owner of the Dublin Dr. Pepper Bottling Company decided not to make the switch. To this day, they only use cane sugar, year 'round, to make their Dr. Pepper.

Technically, Dr. Pepper from the Dublin plant can only be sold in a 44-mile radius of Dublin, Texas, but 'bootlegged' bottles of Dublin Dr. Pepper can be found throughout Texas and even in other states. These bottles are purchased in the Dublin area and the shipped and re-sold elsewhere. It can also be purchased online.

By the way, the Dublin bottling plant is the oldest Dr. Pepper bottler. It has been in continuous use since 1891, just 6 years after DP debuted in Waco, Texas.

"Dublin" might even become an adjective to describe beverages (or other products) made without HFCS and with cane sugar. I drove by a Chicken Express restaurant recently and their sign out front advertised "Dublin Lemonade." I drove-through and ordered one and asked the girl why it was called Dublin Lemonade. I knew the answer before I asked, but she confirmed it, "It's made with real sugar, not that corn stuff."

Around here (Dallas/Fort Worth) you can go in just about any grocery store and pick up a six pack of 8oz. bottles of Dublin DP.

You never know where Dublin Dr. Pepper might pop up. Evidently it is available 'on-tap' at a Jason's Deli in Denver, CO.

The photo above shows the Dublin Dr. Pepper 8 oz. bottles. Note the "Imperial Sugar" logo on the bottle and 6-pack box. This is found only on Dublin Dr. Pepper as it is the only Dr. Pepper to use real pure cane sugar.

There are some other smaller bottlers that use pure cane sugar.

Mexico is another popular source of soft drinks made with real sugar (as opposed to corn syrup). Coca-Cola made in Mexico is not made with HFCS and is also available in many grocery stores in Texas and California. Another Mexican option free of HFCS is Jarritos sodas. Jarritos started in Mexico in 1950, is the first national soft drink brand in Mexico and the leading brand in the mexican soft drink category in the U.S. Jarritos is available in nine delicious fruit flavors: Tamarind, Mandarin, Fruit Punch, Jamaica, Lime, Grapefruit, Guava, Pineapple and Strawberry.

Another great Cane Sugar carbonated beverage is Boylan's. They have a ton of flavors and also don't use HFCS.

So, next time you're in Texas, give Dublin Dr. Pepper a try and see if you can tell the difference between using pure cane sugar and HFCS as a sweetener.

If you do, let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Also let us know where you've found Dublin Dr. Pepper outside of Texas and any other Dublin DP stories.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fast & Fancy Custom Cokes

Coca-Cola has developed a new 'soda fountain' called the "Freestyle Beverage Dispenser."

It can serve over 100 different beverages... sodas, teas, flavored waters, etc.

Plus, it doesn't take a huge backroom to store all the syrups needed to make this different drinks. Coke uses 'micro doses' of flavorings so that all that is needed in bulk is carbonated water and sweetner.

Some flavors have never been available before in the US and include Raspberry Coke, Fanta Peach, and Grape Volt.

Will we start seeing this in fast food restaurants soon? Only time will tell, but I'm betting yes!

Here's a video demonstration of this machine:

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sonic Chillers & Bundt Cake Sundae

Sonic has 2 new limited time menu items this month.

The first is the Sonic Chiller. They taken their famous (and beloved by me) Cherry Limeade and blended it with vanilla soft serve. It is topped with whipped topping, a fresh lime wedge and a cherry.

But you don't have to limit yourself to my favorite... all the limeade flavors can be made as a Sonic Chiller, like Strawberry Limeade or Classic Limeade.

Speaking of Cherry Limeade, when you order a Sonic combo meal you get a free Route 44 drink upgrade (also limited time only).

The second new menu item are Sonic's n Bundt Cake Sundaes.

Sonic's mini-sized chocolate Bundt cakes are filled with warm hot fudge and covered with vanilla soft serve, whipped topping and a cherry.

The Bundt Cake Sundaes come in 3 varieties:  the Molten Chocolate, The Strawberry with hot fudge or the Turtle with caramel and lightly salted pecans.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dr. Pepper Coming to All McDonald's

In a big victory for Dr. Pepper (and Dr. Pepper drinkers like myself), McDonald's has reached an agreement with the Dallas-based Dr. Pepper Snapple Group to make Dr. Pepper available at all of McDonald's 14,000 US locations. DP is currently available at about 8,500 McDonald's.

In a slight blow to #1 soft drink company Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper will replace Coke's Pibb Xtra.

McDonald's is expanding its fountain and bottled drinks to complement McCafe espresso-based drinks available in about 70 percent of its U.S. stores.

McDonald's operators will have a choice to add Diet Dr Pepper, now featured at 3,500 stores, as Dr Pepper Snapple tries to increase its third-place share of the Coke-dominated U.S. fountain drink market.

Dr. Pepper now has 100 percent availability at 25 of the top 20 30 fast food chains.

Dr. Pepper has even set up a website to help McDonald's franchise operators market their new beverage offering.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Free Fruit Flavored Iced Tea at Arby's

This Wednesday, May 6, 2009, Arby's will be celebrating National Beverage Day by offering free Iced FruiTeas.

Just go to Arby's and say "I'm parched.  FruiTea Me!" and try a free FruiTea in one of 4 flavors:  Passion Fruit, Mandarin Peach, Diet Peach or Diet Blackberry.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Taco Bell: Triple Steak Burrito & Frutista

While Taco Bell is experiencing increased business during the current economic downturn due to their "Why Pay More" value menu, they've also introduced the most expensive menu item they've ever had, the Triple Steak Burrito priced at $3.99.

The Triple Steak Burrito is big.  It weighs in at 339 grams.  By comparison, the 7-layer Burrito weighs 283 grams.  The Triple Steak is also loaded with protein:  37 grams.  Of course, you get 25 grams of fat (230 calories from fat) with the Triple Steak Burrito, and 660 total calories.  (complete nutritional information below)

They've also introduced a fruit-flavored frozen beverage called the "Frutista Freeze."  The Frutista, priced under $2, is a high profit margin product for Taco Bell (as are most beverages).  It is basically a flavored-water slush.  It contains no fruit juice (only fruit flavors).Taco Bell/YUM! Brands Chief Marketing Officer, David Ovens, has called the Frutista Freeze "the goose that lays the golden eggs."

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Free Coffee Smoothies at Smoothie King

Smoothie King is promoting their 6 new coffee-based smoothies by giving away a FREE 20oz. Coffee or Mo'cuccino smoothie anytime before 10:30 AM on Thursday, September 18. Mark your calendars!

The coffee smoothies include Gladiator protein to for an energy boost, while the Mo'cuccino mixes java with ice cream and protein.
"Because the coffee in Smoothie King's new line of smoothies is cold-brewed processed, more than 70 percent of the bitter acids and oils are removed, providing a smoother flavor and resting easier on the stomach."
The Coffee Smoothies and Mo'cuccinos come in 3 varieties: Caramel, Mocha and Vanilla.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vivanno: New smoothie from Starbucks

Starbucks began serving their new Vivanno "Nourishing Blends" (aka Smoothies) today (15 July 2008).

The Vivanno currently comes in 2 flavors: orange Mango Banana Blend and Banana Chocolate Blend.

The Orange Mango Banana Blend is made with a whole banana blended with all natural Naked® Juice made exclusively for Starbucks, proprietary whey protein & fiber powder, 2% milk and ice.

The Banana Chocolate Blend Vivanno is prepared with a whole banana, bittersweet cocoa, 2% milk and Starbucks' proprietary whey protein & fiber powder and ice.

from Starbucks:
With customers looking for healthier options to fit their on-the-go lifestyles, the new Vivanno™ beverage line is one way Starbucks is meeting requests for great-tasting, good-for-you offerings while furthering its commitment to food and beverage selections that support a healthy lifestyle. The simple ingredient list for both beverages includes:
• one whole banana,
• a proprietary whey protein and fiber powder,
• choice of milk,
• and ice (in the Orange Mango Banana Blend, Naked® Juice is also added).
Nutritional information:

Good news: neither of the drinks has any artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)!

Orange Mango Banana Blend Vivanno has 250 calories, 15calories from fat, 2 grams total fat, 1 grams saturated fat, zero grams trans fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 120 mg sodium, 47 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 32 grams sugars, 16 grams protein and zero mg caffeine.

The Banana Chocolate Blend Vivanno has 270 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, no trans fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 44 grams carbs, 6 grams fiber, 28 grams sugars, 21 grams protein and 15 mg caffeine.

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