Dr. Pepper is made with carbonated water, caramel color, high-fructose corn syrup, phosphorus acid and natural and artificial flavors, according to its website. It also contains caffeine and the preservative sodium benzoate. Diet Dr. Pepper contains aspartame in place of the high-fructose corn syrup.
Charles Alderton, of Waco, Texas, invented Dr. Pepper in the 1880s, first serving it around 1885. When Dr. Pepper was introduced in 1904 at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, it was marketed as having a blend of 23 flavors. Alderton was a pharmacist who operated Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco. Patrons at the drug store called the drink a "Waco"; the store's owner later dubbed it Dr. Pepper.
Dr. Pepper and the Coca-Cola company got into a legal dispute in the 1970s regarding Coca-Cola's alleged infringement on the trademark name of Dr. Pepper by the drink it was marketing, Peppo. Coca-Cola renamed the drink Dr. Pibb, but it was found that that name also infringed on the company's name, so it was rebranded Mr. Pibb and is still an alternative to Dr. Pepper on the market today.
Dr. Pepper offers several flavor variations, as of 2015, including Dr. Pepper Cherry, Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper and diet and caffeine-free versions of all of its flavors.