Redesigned 7UP to get ‘crisper’ taste and look

Posted May 25, 2010 at 6:59 a.m.

Dow Jones Newswires | Dr Pepper Snapple is reformulating its 7UP brand and launching new advertising for the drink in a move that could
help boost volumes and allow it to better compete with rival offerings
from Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo.

In an interview, the company’s chief marketing officer, Jim Trebilcock,
said that the “restaged” 7UP will hit U.S. stores in September and that
the company is using technology to give the drink a “crisper” lemon and
lime taste. Among other things, the company will add new graphics to the
brand’s packaging. Trebilcock said the relaunch could help raise the
brand’s volumes as soon as the fourth quarter.

7UP is a key brand for Dr Pepper in the U.S. and is the company’s second largest carbonated drink after its namesake Dr Pepper. “We grew 7UP last year. We wanted to see if we could accelerate it,” said Trebilcock.

In relaunching its 7UP brand, the company appears to be trying to make a bigger push against rival brands in the U.S. from its bigger competitors, like PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew and Coca-Cola’s  Sprite. In the U.S., 7UP has lagged these brands in terms of market share. According to trade publication Beverage Digest, 7UP has a 1 percent share of the U.S. carbonated soft drink market, Mountain Dew has a 6.7 percent share and Sprite 5.5 percent.

“7UP has performed better recently. They may have started getting some momentum. Keeping the pressure on makes sense,” said John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest.

Dr Pepper Snapple’s flavored soft drinks, like its namesake Dr Pepper, have done well  though overall volumes in the broad carbonated soft drink market in the U.S. have been declining. Coke and PepsiCo’s carbonated soft drink volumes fell last year, according to Beverage Digest, but Dr Pepper’s soda volume rose 4.8 percent. Last year, those gains were fuelled by the company’s new Dr Pepper Cherry line extension.



  1. jack (the real one) May 25, 2010 at 7:50 a.m.

    Sort of like New Coke, which lasted about 8 months.
    The Pahp market is too fragmented already (4 or 5 flavors of 7UP, regular and diet, etc.).

  2. independent thinker May 25, 2010 at 8:18 a.m.

    Jack, you beat me to it. I guess those who forget history are destined to repeat it.

  3. Dave May 25, 2010 at 8:23 a.m.

    The weird thing is that 7UP already tried this a few years ago. I remember out of all the soda I drank as a kid, Coke and Pepsi still tastes the same, even if they do use the dreaded “high frustose corn syrup” instead of real sugar. They ALL do now, but with 7UP, you can taste the lack of a tart lemon-lime REAL flavor from the old days. I guess that you can mask the corn syrup better in colas. Hard to believe that Dr Pepper is #1 and 7UP #2 in the company!

  4. John Fitzgerald May 25, 2010 at 9:49 a.m.

    7Up and Mountain Dew are not rival brands. 7Up and Slice are rival brands. The writer didn’t do their homework.

  5. Joe May 25, 2010 at 10:29 a.m.

    7 Up is owned by Dr. Pepper Snapple. Mountain Dew is owned by Pepsi. The article is correct.

  6. Steve May 25, 2010 at 10:39 a.m.

    Technically, 7Up is a competitor to Pepsi’s Sierra Mist in the lemon/lime category, not Mountain Dew (which is in the citrus category).

  7. Mike May 25, 2010 at 10:39 a.m.

    Sounds like they hired the guy who came up with New Coke

  8. David May 25, 2010 at 11:01 a.m.

    I agree with everything above. Even the stuff that disagrees with other stuff.
    Here’s a more important question: are there any drinks that use Dr. Pepper as a mixer? We all know about 7UP’s magical qualities when mixed with booze, but what about the Doctor?

  9. May 25, 2010 at 11:21 a.m.

    They didn’t learn from Coke!

  10. tomm May 25, 2010 at 11:41 a.m.

    I remember 7UP’s glory days in the 60s/70s. The jingle ‘The UnCola’ and ‘See the light’ were huge. People would call any Lemon-Lime soda “7up”. ['Seven and Seven' still used for mixed drink]
    Now, “Sprite” is used for L-L sodas. Coca-Cola fought back and Sprite took off in 80s and 90s. Pepsi has changed their L-L names many times: Teem, Slice, Sierra Mist…
    BTW: Mt. Dew has caffine, so yes it’s not direct competition.

  11. soybeanmeal May 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    7up lost that crisp clean lemon-lime taste many years ago. I have found the lemon-lime soda offered at Aldi stores satisfies my lemon-lime thirst. BTW Aldi is owned by the same billionaires that also own Trader Joe’s. It is amazing how small a store can be when it offers the essentials (Aldi) and the essentials plus (Trader Joes). I enjoy shopping at these stores as am so tired of the big grocers who have the illusion of offering more but in reality offer products that are variations of formulas derived from processed corn.