Forget “Coke or Pepsi,” because there’s a new number two in the eternal Cola Wars. Beverage Digest says that, in a direct head-to-head comparison, Dr Pepper barely edged out Pepsi as the second most popular soft drink in America during 2023.

A can of Dr Pepper in the immediate foreground with a case of Dr Pepper behind it
Keurig Dr Pepper

While Coca-Cola (19.2% of the market) still reigns supreme as the top choice of soda drinkers in America, Pepsi’s longtime status as the second most purchased brand is no more. Dr Pepper topped it, even though it technically tied Pepsi at 8.3% in terms of volume sales. That is purely a measure of the two drinks themselves and does not include sales of either brand’s flavor variations or diet versions.

The news (which we first heard at CNN) reflects both Pepsi’s steady decline and Dr Pepper’s steady rise over recent years. It also reflects Americans’ view that Coca-Cola is still the unquestioned number one soda.