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Names for pop just don’t stop

November 8, 2011
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Is there anything better than the copycat names some discount pop makers come up with to try to mirror their more expensive and well known competition?

Not much as far as I'm concerned.

Through my years I have consumed many a discount pop, or soda, if you prefer. Their unusual names have been a running joke with my friends and I for decades.

For instance, Kroger, a midwestern grocery store I worked for in Illinois as a teen, had their store brand for Mountain Dew called Dew Drop. Well those fat cats at Pepsico must have caught wind of it and didn't like it, or so I'm assuming. Eventually, the name of the imitation pop was changed to Citrus Drop. Then there are those imitation drinks that add the word "lightning." I know I've seen Green Lightning and Mountain Lightning. I guess anything with lightning means it tastes good. They must have had a focus group tell them that.

And the list of copycat Dr. Pepper names are, well, just plain awesome. It seems the discount brands thrown any type of word behind "Dr." and try to make it work. I've seen Dr. K, Dr. Sweet, Dr. Thunder and my all time favorite, Dr. Skipper.

It's always fun to go on vacation and visit a grocery store chain you've never been in before. It just opens up a whole new world of copycat names.

I know it's provided countless laughs in past vacations with my friends. I still remember the time I bought a 12-pack of Dr. Skipper only to bring it to our hotel and show it off. I don't entirely remember how it tasted, but it was worth the few bucks just to say I bought some Dr. Skipper.

I want that job in the cola business to be the guy that sits there and comes up with these off the wall names. I've already got ones like Dr. Fizzle, Mountain Goo and all sorts of other possibilities running through the my head.

I wouldn't think these people take their jobs too seriously. I mean the day they came up with Dr. Skipper must have been a fun day at the office.

Copycat names are not limited to pop. Don't get me started on all the copycat names for discount cereal. Let's just say those can be fun too and I just had a bowl of Coco Roos on Monday. It's the imitation cereal for Cocoa Puffs that comes in bags the size of dog food. If that doesn't make your taste buds hum, try a bowl of the Honeycomb taste-a-like, Honey Buzzers.

All of this writing sure is making me thirsty. Anyone got a cold can of Dr. Skipper on hand?

That would hit the spot.


Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or



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