New strawberry Dr Pepper hits shelves nationwide


Laura Landsbaum

Dr Pepper added a new permanent flavor last week. Per a news release, it is “original flavors of Dr Pepper swirled with layers of refreshing strawberry flavor and a smooth, creamy finish.

Dr Pepper launched a new Strawberries and Cream version of their classic soda on Feb. 1. The odd flavor isn’t unlike Dr Pepper, known for frequently releasing unorthodox special editions. This soda is far from a special edition, however, as the brand has announced that it is a new permanent flavor, their first since the release of Dark Berry in May of 2022. The soda also comes in a zero-sugar option.

The body of the drink itself doesn’t carry much of the classic DP taste. The strawberry flavoring is heavily present in the smell and top notes of the soda, with an initial wash of a fruity flavor when it first hits your palette. That is to say, if you are not a fan of said fruity flavors, this soda likely isn’t going to hit home. It definitely wears its sweetness on its sleeve, far from the 23 flavors that oftentimes balance each other out in the original version.

The cream portion is subtle at best. It seems to only come forward after the initial tasting, where it finds its place on the back of the tongue. However, this doesn’t make it an inherently bad flavoring. I find the subtlety of the cream to be a nice touch, adding a dairy-like richness to the strong, fruity splash of strawberry. It doesn’t come off too skewed in one direction of the “strawberries to cream” chart, which is often an issue when beverage companies release these kinds of dual flavors.

The artificiality of many said new sodas often make consumers a little wary. Strawberries and cream, however, uses artificial flavorings quite tastefully (no pun intended). The strawberry genuinely tastes like strawberry, and doesn’t suffer from the off-putting, unnatural taste that many of DP’s competitors have been working to curb. Dare I say, it’s honestly quite fresh.

But now it’s time for the real question: does it replace the original Dr Pepper? Does this new flavor outperform the classic we’ve come to know and love?

Well, not really. Given, I am setting a very high standard, but I do not see this as a soda that will replace anyone’s 12-pack of DP currently in their fridge (partly because that’s not the purpose of the drink, and partly because DP enjoyers drink the stuff like its water). The sweetness is almost intoxicatingly strong, reminiscent of the actual dessert, making it far from an everyday soda. If I happen to be craving a sugary, indulgent drink and I see strawberries and cream on the gas station shelf, I’d buy it every once in a while. It’s not bad, I’d even call it good, it’s just a difficult task for a beverage with such a dedicated following to release a new flavor and have it live up to its big brother.

Overall, I would rate this soda a 7.5/10. Would I buy it again? Who knows. Do I recommend going out and trying it? Well, maybe don’t replace your entire fridge with it, but if you are adventurous, I’d suggest grabbing one off the rack.