REVIEW: Dr Pepper Zero Sugar

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar Bottle

What is Dr Pepper Zero Sugar?

Keurig Dr Pepper has released a new sugar-free formulation of its iconic soft drink. Using a combination of aspartame and acesulfame potassium, Dr Pepper Zero Sugar is being described as an addition to the aspartame-only Diet Dr Pepper, rather than a replacement.

How is it?

Dr Pepper famously has 23 unique flavors, and you can find lists on the internet that purport to reveal them all. I don’t know how accurate these are (carrot, really?), but as a frequent Diet Dr Pepper drinker, I’m very familiar with what they create.

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar Closeup

I pour Dr Pepper Zero Sugar into a glass and take a sip. It tastes like the Diet Dr Pepper that I’m familiar with. Yet, I think a more direct comparison will be fruitful.

One result of spending way too much thinking about junk food is that I’ve realized how susceptible to marketing I am. I prefer Coca-Cola over Pepsi partially because of its comfortable, timeless-seeming aesthetic, as opposed to Pepsi’s aggressively cool Generation Next campaign from my childhood. I still think of a Subway sandwich as a healthy option.

Dr Pepper Zero Sugar Compare

I choose Diet Dr Pepper from the work vending machine because it tastes more like regular Dr Pepper. But does it, really? To test this, I grabbed the original, diet, and zero sugar versions to try them side-by-side. It’s a Dr Pepper Challenge, if you will.

I haven’t had a regular Dr Pepper or any full-sugar soda in years, so I taste it first to establish a baseline. It’s very similar to the Zero Sugar version, with a more syrupy consistency and more intense sweetness. I move onto the diet one and am surprised by the difference. The mouthfeel is thinner and the sweetness has a flatness with a slightly chemical flavor that I’ve never noticed before. It does not taste like regular Dr Pepper. This is very concerning to me. Are my opinions so subject to media influence? Am I captive to corporate forces larger than I can conceive? I resample Dr Pepper Zero Sugar to confirm that it tastes more like regular Dr Pepper, and am convinced that it more faithfully replicates the original.


Dr Pepper Zero Sugar has opened my eyes to the truth. Diet Dr Pepper does not taste more like regular Dr Pepper, but this version does. Well played, Doctor, though you can still expect a malpractice lawsuit for all the quarters I’ve fed into the cafeteria soda machine.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 2 Liter
Purchased at: Piggly Wiggly
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl oz) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 gram of protein.

38 thoughts to “REVIEW: Dr Pepper Zero Sugar”

  1. Showing your age saying that there were pop machines in your cafeteria! Thanks for the review, sounds like it delivers on my hopes for it. Maybe some day I will splurge on a non-store brand 2 litre…maybe…

      1. To be clear, I have two nice rocks glasses, just not enough for three samples 😛 The photo middle with Dr Pepper Zero Sugar is in a rocks glass. I do have three identical, yes, mini tupperware containers, so I tend to use those when I have multiple samples and want them all to look the same.

        My two nice martini glasses also occasionally make an appearance in my reviews. See the recent Gluten Free Oreo review for an example.

  2. And so, does anyone know, is this the same Dr. Pepper Zero that was out years ago, or is this a new Zero formulation?

    1. Actually, thinking on it further, it may have been Dr. Pepper Ten that had been introduced earlier. A great taste, just like regular Dr. Pepper, but then it seemed to have disappeared, along with other Ten drinks/flavors.

      1. Yeah, I do recall the “ten” versions, don’t remember them doing a Dr. Pepper “zero” before.

  3. I wonder if this formulation will come to the UK – I usually have pepsi max/cherry pepsi max and don’t like full sugar version of soda as a rule, esp coke as its so gassy and diet coke to me is tasteless. But for Dr Pepper, i like the full sugar one only, the diet one, to me, tastes nothing like it. I recently tried a diet version from elsewhere in europe that i got in a discount store, still not great. If they could get the taste as close to regular as Pepsi manage to, that’d be great!

  4. I saw they have Dr pepper creme soda zero. Is this diet Dr pepper creme soda and they just renamed it or is this using the Dr pepper zero?

    1. It is replacing the Diet DP Creme and Diet DP Cherry. Diet Dr Pepper is not being replaced as it is a different formula.

        1. Bought 3 12 packs by mistake thought is was regular Dr pepper. Dr pepper zero taste so bad I would rather drink water, dirty water

  5. This is much better tasting than Diet Dr Pepper. I drank the Dr Pepper 10 that was out a few years ago and this new one reminds me of it.

      1. Just tried the Dr.Pepper Zero..Being a fan of the Diet Dr.Pepper, I find the Zero kinda flat in comparison. It would work if I could not find the diet in stock, which is the case sometimes.. Will stick with Diet!

  6. I found this accidentally the other day, and always a sucker for trying new sodas (especially the zero-sugar kind, being type-2 diabetic), I naturally had to bring some home… This new Zero Sugar ‘Pepper is… in a word… deeelicious!!! Wow… It feels in a way like I’m tasting Dr. Pepper for the first time… It really does not taste like a ‘diet’ soda, and it blows the veritable ‘doors’ off the original Diet Dr. Pepper, which, depending on the bottler or fountain, has always seemed to have a somewhat ‘watered-down’ quality to it… There is nothing ‘watered-down’ about the new Zero Sugar version… Definitely a keeper and can’t wait to try the cherry and creme soda Zero sugar varieties!

    1. As an avid Dr. Pepper (and especially the low/no-sugar varieties) fan,* thanks for the endorsement and mini-review!

      * Except for chocolate (or was it chocolate cherry?) Dr. Pepper–egads, how painful it was to force myself to finish the 12-pack of that which I had purchased.

  7. Don’t try if you’re used to regular pop. It has a bad pre and after taste.

  8. I was pleasantly surprised to find Dr. Pepper Cherry Zero on my grocers shelf recently. For years, Dr. Pepper Diet Cherry has been my favorite, but it has been missing from the shelves for months. In the meantime, I have been drinking Diet Dr. Pepper. The new Cherry Zero tastes good enough, but the degree of carbonation is much lower than in the other sodas. That level of bubbles is a large part of my enjoyment in a carbonated beverage. I say, hooray for bringing it back, but please amp up the carbonation concentration. I miss the bubbles. IMHO. and I am a lover or Cream sodas…both red and amber, the Cream and Cherry Cream versions of Dr. Pepper taste like medicine. They are awful. I gave my neighbor the bulk of a six pack of each, and she and her husband disliked them too. I would much rather see the carbonation level of DR. Pepper Cherry Zero upped substantially, and both Cream versions dropped to allow better shelf space for the winning flavors.

    1. I agree. I have both and have been a lifetime DP fan. The new Zero certainly does not have the same carbonation. The taste is pretty good but without the same carbon as a new can goes down your throat….makes me wonder when they will fix it. It is not as good as Ten that was removed from distribution during Covid. The carbonation needs to be adjusted asap. I tested with my dp and diet dp in my cup that I use every weekend…and it fills faster with ice, with less foam and time to fill the cup is quicker. This confirms my suspicion that the carbonation is less. BRING BACK the Ten and/or same carbonation to DP Zero. But I will still drink them both…..and hate diet pepsi with a passion and can sometimes tolerate coke and then coke zero.

  9. Saw this at my local grocery store last week and picked some of this up and Dr. Pepper Cherry Zero up as well (didn’t see Zero variants of Cherry & Vanilla or Cream Soda so not sure if those exist). It is indeed excellent. I never liked Diet Dr. Pepper, or Dr. Pepper TEN (remember those?), but this is excellent.

  10. How can Mike with no last name compare regular Dr. Pepper to zero or whatever for that matter because he even says he hasn’t had it on Years! Dr.pepper 10 was the best deal but now post pandemic they stopped production.

  11. Picked up DP Zero Sugar and DP Diet today and would concur with your conclusions and say:
    Zero Sugar: lower carbonation, slight sweeter, more syrupy
    Diet: higher carbonation, less sweet, “thinner”
    I’ve always like the Diet DP and haven’t had a regular in years so I will probably just get whichever is easily available. I wonder how a 10 calorie version of Zero would taste?

  12. As a former DDP drinker…this Zero DDP is SO GOOD. I found it accidentally. Best find of 2021. Ordered to be delivered with my groceries. I’m 64 and have always been a DDP fan. Well move over DDP Ddp zero is in the house!

  13. Whether it’s zero sugar or diet don’t ever stop making your”diet” Cherry dr pepper ,whichever form you use it is the best Dr pepper you’ve ever made. Hooked! Can’t eat sugar but this solved that.

  14. I was so excited to see this and was hoping it was made with Stevia so it would be safe to drink. But no, it is sweetened with poison that NO ONE should be adding to their healthy body, just like all the other diet soda! Shame on you Dr. Pepper!

  15. Dr. Pepper Zero has absolutely no flavor. It is bland and flat, I was so disappointed when I purchased this over my regular Diet Dr. Pepper. It tastes nothing like the regular formula or it’s diet counter part, but like a dark semi-fizzy water. But thank you Dr. Pepper for making this brand that showed me how great Diet Dp is and that it is superior to all other sodas.

  16. This is basically the case for all the “Zero Sugar” versions all these companies are introducing, they taste more close to the original than Diet. TBH they probably would rather just replace Diet with these new ones entirely as it’s a more accurate Diet flavor but they are probably afraid of repeating a New Coke, people rioting cause they replaced their favorite drink even if it’s better in all regards.

  17. Why didn’t they use stevia? Being diabetic I can’t drink my favorite soft drink, Dr. Pepper. I do not drink artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. Chemicals that eat up our stomachs among other things. Stevia has been shown to be safe. Why not stevia?

  18. I DONT like the Dr Pepper Zero!!!!!! Loved Diet Dr Pepper Cherry/vanilla or just cherry. WILL NOT be buying any of the zero products. Hope you bring back THE REGULAR DIET!?

  19. I love the Dr. Pepper zero. I do think that this actually does taste like regular Dr. Pepper compared to diet Dr. Pepper. I used to drink Diet Dr. Pepper when ever I went to my grandma and grandpa’s house.So I know that diet does not taste like regular. But Dr.Pepper Zero sure does come close enough.

  20. I am someone who is Thoroughly Impressed! I haven’t had a soda/ carbonated drink since 2012.? I started a new medication for migraines and it totally screwed up my taste buds for the better. I never realized just how much sugar was in the sodas I was drinking. I lost 40+ lbs, give or take a lb or two..I am female ?…And I’ve kept it off. So being able to drink Dr pepper again without ingesting 60 grams of sugar in one sitting…I thank the genius who finally got it right. (Diet dr pepper is horrible) I drink mostly flavored water, but this is a great treat. I was so sick of Sprite Zero…its great when you’re sick at your stomach.? #imapeppertoo

  21. Back when I was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes I had to give up drinking regular soda because of the massive amounts of sugar. Bummed out, of course, but accepted it. Could not stand the diet drinks of the time. I am 66 now but this was back when I was about 35. One thing that kept me away from the diet drinks was the aspartame because it clashed with one of the medications I was taking at the time. Forward to 2018 and a diagnosis of throat cancer. Joy! I got through the chemo and got my hair back. I was no longer taking the medicine that clashed with the aspartame so tried Diet sodas but found I could not stand it. Canned drinks tasted tinny and the bottled ones just had a bad taste. My taste buds had been affected by the chemo, which is one of the side effects. Regular sodas tasted okay but I couldn’t drink them because of the sugar. Then the Zero drinks came out and I tried the Dr. Pepper ones as I have always been a DDP fan. I fell in love! No tinny taste, no bad after taste. I can have one a day, as I am also a kidney patient. Lost my right kidney in 2013 also due to cancer. I was warned that Dr. Pepper Cherry tasted like cough syrup but I found it tasty and that goes for the Cream Soda one as well. Remembering that everyone has different senses in their taste buds, these drinks will not be for all people. I am just glad we have wide choices today. When I was a kid it was Coke, Pepsi and RC Cola, for the most part. Thanks for listening. Find what you like and be nice to those with a difference of opinion. It’s what makes the world go round!

Comments are closed.