There are interesting updates from the soda world that may impact store beverage aisles. According to new national sales-volume data, Dr. Pepper has officially surpassed Pepsi to become the number two soda brand in America, a position Pepsi had held since 1985. 

The data reveals that Coca-Cola remains the leader with a commanding 19.2 percent of the U.S. soda market by sales volume. Dr. Pepper and Pepsi both follow with 8.3 percent, but Dr. Pepper has a slight edge. Sprite, another Coca-Cola brand, is next with 8.1 percent, followed by Diet Coke at 7.8 percent. 

Dr. Pepper’s rise can be attributed to its innovative marketing strategies and viral moments, such as the recent trend of combining Dr. Pepper with pickles, which gained popularity on TikTok and was featured at Sonic. Dr. Pepper has also been actively experimenting with new flavors to keep its lineup fresh and exciting. In 2022, it introduced the limited-edition Dr. Pepper Bourbon Flavored Fansville Reserve, and in 2023, it added Dr. Pepper Strawberries & Cream to its permanent selection. 

Coca-Cola continues to dominate American preferences with 19.2 percent of the soda market, while both Dr. Pepper and Pepsi follow with 8.3 percent, with Dr. Pepper holding a slight lead. 

These national statistics match Associated Food Stores’ sales. Coca-Cola is the top seller for members of AFS, followed by Dr. Pepper, then Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Shasta. 

AFS has also been adjusting shelf space towards recent trends. In 2022 the company implemented a specific Dr. Pepper schematic and continues to allocate more space as sales trends continue. 

“Soda sales are extremely important for us,” said Kris Romeril, senior category manager. “Our ability to offer a diverse range of popular soda brands not only satisfies our customers’ preferences but also boosts overall sales, profitability and traffic.”