Swallowed Up

Dr Pepper finds a buyer

Although it has long had a loyal following among soft-drink guzzlers, 98-year-old Dr Pepper (1982 sales: $516.1 million) has gradually been losing its fizz. The company's namesake Dr Pepper brand fell from 5.4% of the soft-drink market in 1981 to 5.1% last year. Moreover, the Dallas-based firm knew things might continue getting worse because it lacks the financial and marketing clout to compete effectively against the soft-drink industry's giants: Coca-Cola (1982 sales: $6.2 billion) and highly diversified PepsiCo (1982 sales: $7.5 billion). So, taking a hint from one of its old commercials, Dr Pepper has been looking...

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