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Diet Dr Pepper vs. Dr Pepper Zero vs. Regular vs. Cream Soda: Differences and Reviews 2024

Diet Dr Pepper vs. Dr Pepper Zero vs. Regular vs. Cream Soda: Differences and Reviews 2024

    Dr Pepper has managed to combine 23 flavors to create the perfect carbonated drink. I'm a fan of Dr. Pepper and I think it's truly the tastiest soda on the planet. While the classic Dr Pepper flavor is unbeatable, Dr Pepper also offers several sugar-free versions for those who want a refreshing soda without worrying about consuming too much sugar or calories.

What is Dr. Pepper?

Dr Pepper®, a brand of Keurig Dr Pepper, Inc. (KDP), is the oldest major soft drink in the United States. 

The carbonated soft drink Dr. Pepper was launched in 1885, one year before Coca-Cola (1886) and eight years before Pepsi (1893). 

It was created by pharmacist Charles Alderton. Early advertisements for this soft drink made medical claims, stating that it "aids digestion and restores vim, vigor, and vitality."

Like Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper's formula is a trade secret. If you look at the nutrition facts on the can, the ingredients list vaguely states that Dr Pepper is made with natural and artificial flavors. 

Since 1885, the 23 flavors of Dr Pepper® have earned legions of fans that enjoy its unique, refreshing taste. 

The brand is available in Regular, Diet, Caffeine Free, Cherry, Zero Sugar, Cream Soda, and Strawberries & Cream varieties. 

Today, Dr Pepper is the fourth most popular soda in the country after Coke, Pepsi and Mountain Dew.

How about Dr Pepper? Dr. Pepper brings a rich fizz to my taste buds, except that Dr. Pepper is slightly less carbonated than other sodas, which gives it a smoother texture. 





Added Sugars


Caffeine Content

41 mg/12 fl oz




Ingredients: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate (preservative), caffeine

A signature blend of 23 flavors makes every sip of Dr Pepper truly unique. 

What are some low-calorie Dr Peppers?




Caffeine helps increase alertness and reduce fatigue. A 12-ounce serving of Dr. Pepper typically contains about 41 milligrams of caffeine, and other versions are about the same.

Regarding caffeine content, Diet Dr. Pepper falls in the middle range compared to other popular carbonated beverages. For example, a 12-ounce Coca-Cola contains around 34 milligrams of caffeine, while Pepsi has approximately 38 milligrams. On the higher end of the spectrum, a 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew contains about 54 milligrams of caffeine.

Quick View: Dr Pepper Zero Sugar vs. Diet Dr Pepper vs. Dr. Pepper Cream Soda Zero Sugar Comparison List











 Added Sugars




Caffeine Content

41 mg/12 fl oz

41 mg / 12 fl oz

41 mg / 12 fl oz






carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, aspartame, sodium benzoate (preservative), caffeine, acesulfame potassium, natural and artificial flavors, sodium phosphate

carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate (preservative), caffeine

carbonated water, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sodium benzoate (preservative), phosphoric acid, caffeine, sodium phosphate

This zero-sugar captivates your tastebuds with the iconic blend of 23 flavors. 

Diet Dr Pepper offers the same 23 flavors of regular Dr Pepper, without the calories.

The richness of cream soda harmonizes with all 23 flavors of Dr Pepper in the delicious zero-sugar treat you deserve.

Editor's review: Dr Pepper vs Dr Pepper Zero Sugar vs. Diet Dr Pepper vs. Dr Pepper Cream Soda Zero Sugar: Which is the Best Choice?

While there are many different opinions, my first choice is Dr Pepper Zero Sugar.

First, it does not contain the added sugar found in high-fructose corn syrup, which fits the low-sugar, low-carb, low-calorie diet trend. Zero sugar intake helps reduce some health risks, such as weight gain, frequent acne, and increased blood pressure.

Second, Dr Pepper Zero Sugar tastes more like the original. Rich in flavor and sweet in taste, Dr Pepper Zero Sugar delivers a satisfying soda experience without compromising on taste.

Third, its packaging is really fashionable, with red and black exuding enthusiasm and mystery, making it perfect for friend gatherings and home theaters.

For more details and differences on Dr Pepper products, continue browsing below.

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What is Diet Dr. Pepper?

Diet Dr. Pepper is a low-calorie soft drink. 

It was originally called "Dietary Dr. Pepper" and was introduced in 1962 (canned) and 1963 (bottled).

Due to slow sales, it was renamed "Sugar Free Dr. Pepper" in 1966 because the "Dietary Dr. Pepper" name led the public to mistakenly believe that the drink was for diabetics.

In 1987, it was renamed again to "Diet Dr. Pepper." According to Beverage Digest magazine, Diet Dr. Pepper sales increased 6.4% and became the tenth best-selling soda in 2006.

In 2006, their marketing campaign compared the taste of Diet Dr Pepper to dessert, rather than regular Dr Pepper, with the slogan "There's nothing diet about it."

The soft drink received a positive reception due to the changing eating habits and preferences of the baby boom generation at the time.

Diet Dr Pepper vs Dr. Pepper: Differences and Reviews

The biggest difference between Diet Dr. Pepper and regular Dr. Pepper is the sweetener used.

Regular Dr. Pepper is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, while Diet Dr. Pepper is sweetened with aspartame.

Aspartame is a low-calorie sweetener that has been used for decades as a way to lower one’s intake of added sugars while still providing satisfaction from enjoying something sweet. Aspartame is about 200 times sweeter than sugar, and as such only a small amount of the sweetener is needed to match the sweetness provided by sugar.

There are significant differences in the nutritional information between Diet Dr. Pepper and regular Dr. Pepper due to differences in sweeteners.

The Dr. Pepper Diet contains zero calories, zero grams of carbs, and zero grams of sugar.

The regular Dr. Pepper, on the other hand, contains 150 calories, 40 grams of carbs, and 40 grams of sugar.

This means that Diet Dr. Pepper may be a good choice for those who want to reduce their calorie or sugar intake.

Regarding the taste, while the two sodas taste very similar, many people say there are subtle differences between the two.

Regular Dr. Pepper has a stronger, syrupier flavor, while Diet Dr. Pepper has a smoother, lighter flavor.

Additionally, the artificial sweeteners in Diet Dr. Pepper may make the aftertaste slightly different compared to regular Dr. Pepper.

What is Dr Pepper Zero Sugar?

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar is a zero-calorie, sugar-free soda with added aspartame and acesulfame potassium.


Dr Pepper announced Dr Pepper Zero Sugar in 2021, which celebrates the one-of-a-kind blend of its signature 23 flavors in a zero sugar soda that delivers all the flavor consumers deserve. It is available in Original, Cherry and Cream Soda flavors. 

Diet Dr Pepper vs Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar: Differences and Reviews

In the sugar-free soft drink series, there is already Diet Dr. Pepper, why is there Diet Dr Pepper?

The Diet Dr Pepper became popular in the late 20th century as baby boomers began to seek healthier options.

Then in the early 2000s, a new generation of consumers, the Millennials, weren't as obsessed with Diet Dr Pepper as their parents were. They wanted a soda that didn't compromise on taste and was healthier.

This time there is Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar. It makes the zero sugar content more clear and shows consumers that this is the healthier alternative they are looking for.

Diet Dr Pepper has a slightly lighter flavor than regular Dr Pepper, while Dr Pepper Zero Sugar has a flavor closer to the rich flavor of regular Dr Pepper.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between Dr Pepper Zero Sugar and Diet Dr Pepper:

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar vs Diet Dr Pepper: Sweeteners

Diet Dr Pepper achieves its sweetness through the use of aspartame. Aspartame is a low-calorie sweetener that delivers the sweet taste you love without increasing your calorie intake.

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar, on the other hand, achieves its sweetness through the use of aspartame and acesulfame potassium.

Acesulfame potassium is a non-caloric sweetener used in foods and beverages to provide sweetness. It's about 200 times sweeter than sugar, so only a small amount is needed to match the sweetness that sugar provides.

Both sweeteners are considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The difference in sweetener results in a slightly different flavor profile and calorie content in the two drinks.

Aspartame tends to have a lighter, somewhat sharper sweetness, while acesulfame potassium is often described as having a more rounded sweetness, closer to that of sugar.

Acesulfame potassium can also be added to other sweeteners, such as aspartame, to prolong sweetness and help reduce bitterness and aftertaste.

Although they are both sugar substitutes, acesulfame potassium is considered non-caloric, while aspartame is considered low-calorie. Although they only differ by 0-5 calories.

Overall, Acesulfame potassium is a superior, tastier, and more authentic sweet taste. But some people have trouble distinguishing them.

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar vs Diet Dr Pepper: Calorie Content

Diet Dr Pepper is low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a soda that won't add calories. A 12 oz (355 ml) serving of Diet Dr Pepper contains only 0 to 5 calories. Yes, you read that right – the calories are almost negligible!

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar is zero calories, making it the perfect choice for those who strictly monitor their calorie intake or follow a calorie-restricted diet.

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar vs Diet Dr Pepper: Taste

The taste of Diet Dr Pepper is pleasant and familiar, very similar to the taste of the original Dr Pepper. The sweetness of aspartame complements the carbonation for a satisfying, refreshing experience. This makes Diet Dr Pepper an attractive option for those who like a slightly sweet soda with an original taste.

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar is designed to replicate the classic Dr Pepper flavor while completely eliminating the sugar content. Thanks to the combination of aspartame and acesulfame potassium, it manages to retain the flavor essence of this much-loved drink. They are rich in flavor and the sweetness is real and lingering.

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar vs Diet Dr Pepper: Audience

Diet Dr Pepper is designed to appeal to those who are aware of their calorie intake or follow a calorie-restricted diet. It caters to those looking for a lower-calorie option without compromising on Dr. Pepper's signature taste.

Additionally, people who like the taste of Dr Pepper but prefer a lighter version may find Diet Dr Pepper to be their drink of choice.

Dr Pepper Zero is designed to appeal to those who are actively reducing their sugar intake or following a sugar-restricted diet.

It offers a sugar-free alternative that maintains the best flavor of the beloved Dr. Pepper.

Plus, it's also completely calorie-free, making Dr Pepper Zero appealing to a younger audience who don't want to compromise on the classic Dr Pepper taste but are eager to avoid added calories.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Dr Pepper so unique?

A signature blend of 23 flavors makes every sip of Dr Pepper truly unique. What are the 23 flavors of Dr Pepper? 

Dr. Pepper's recipe is a trade secret. However, Dr Pepper superfans have gone to great lengths to crack the secret, and the closest flavors are said to be amaretto, almond, blackberry, black licorice, caramel, carrot, clove, cherry, cola, ginger, juniper, lemon, molasses, nutmeg, orange, prune, plum, pepper, root beer, rum, raspberry, tomato, and vanilla. 

Which Dr. Pepper flavor is the best?

While we all have our preferences, it's clear that Dr Pepper (i.e. its original flavor) has stood the test of time. Drinkers may not like the extra strawberry, cherry, vanilla or cream soda flavors, depending on their taste buds. So the OG flavor definitely dominates.

What's the Best Sugar-Free Dr. Pepper?

Diet Dr. Pepper and Dr. Pepper Zero offer a sugar-free alternative for those who want to enjoy the classic Dr. Pepper flavor without the added calories. It is worth noting that some people have reported experiencing a slight aftertaste of aspartame, while others find it perfectly enjoyable. If you have any sensitivity or aversion to aspartame, Dr. Pepper Zero might be a better option to consider.

Is Dr Pepper Zero Sugar Caffeine Free?

A can of Dr Pepper Zero Sugar or Diet Dr. Pepper (12 fl oz) contains approximately 41 mg of caffeine. For comparison, a regular Dr. Pepper can of the same size also contains around 41 mg of caffeine.

Although the caffeine content may be lower than other sodas, it’s important to note that individuals who completely avoid caffeine should be cautious when consuming Dr Pepper Zero Sugar or Diet Dr. Pepper.

How does the caffeine content of Dr Pepper compare to coffee?

Dr Pepper contains significantly less caffeine than coffee. While coffee can have up to 200 milligrams of caffeine, Diet Dr Pepper only has about 18% of the caffeine content. So, if you’re looking for a beverage with less caffeine, Diet Dr Pepper is a great choice.

Is Diet Dr. Pepper discontinued?

No. Diet Dr. Pepper is still on the market, but there’s a key difference between the two sodas: Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar is sweetened with a combination of aspartame and acesulfame potassium, which makes it a little more syrupy (read: realistic) than diet DP, which is sweetened with only aspartame.

Do Diet Dr Pepper and Dr Pepper Zero taste the same?

The two sodas taste slightly different due to differences in sweeteners. Some people describe Diet Dr Pepper as having a slightly artificial taste, while Dr Pepper Zero has a more natural flavor.

Do Diet Dr Pepper and regular Dr Pepper taste the same?

While the flavor of both drinks is similar, some people claim that regular Dr Pepper has a stronger, more syrupy flavor, while others argue that Diet Dr Pepper has a smoother, lighter flavor. Additionally, the artificial sweeteners in Diet Dr Pepper can give it a slightly different aftertaste compared to regular Dr Pepper.

What packaging does Dr Pepper Zero Sugar come in?

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar is available nationwide in 20-oz bottles, 2-liter bottles, 6-packs of 0.5-liter bottles and 12-packs of 12-oz cans.

Is Dr Pepper owned by Coke or Pepsi?

Dr Pepper is not a Coke or Pepsi product.

Dr Pepper is a brand of Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), a leading beverage company in North America.

The Company's portfolio of more than 125 owned, licensed and partner brands is designed to satisfy virtually any consumer need, any time, and includes Keurig®, Dr Pepper®, Canada Dry®, Clamato®, CORE®, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters®, Mott's®, Snapple®, and The Original Donut Shop®. 

However, Coke does own some of the rights to distribute Dr Pepper in parts of the world like South Korea and Europe. Pepsi also owns some international distribution rights to Dr Pepper. 

However, these rights are in areas where Dr Pepper doesn’t have much market share. 

Dr Pepper also uses some Pepsi and Coca-Cola bottling facilities to bottle its products. 

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2023-12-26 17:53325