Two iconic Texas brands have come together to create a Dr Pepper Float ice cream.
The soda company is partnering with Blue Bell Creameries to create the flavor, which mixes together vanilla ice cream and a Dr Pepper-flavored sherbet. It’s available beginning Thursday in pint and half-gallon sizes at stores where Blue Bell is sold, the company announced.
“The best ice cream floats are made with Dr Pepper poured over a few scoops of Blue Bell,” said Jimmy Lawhorn, Blue Bell vice president of sales and marketing, said in a release.
Both Dr Pepper and Blue Bell have Texas roots.
Founded in 1885 in Waco, Texas, Dr Pepper was the first in a wave of 19th-century upstart soda companies. (It dropped the period after Dr. in the 1950s for design reasons.) The little brand rose to prominence in the latter half of the 20th century and helped shape the soda industry, all while cultivating its reputation as an outsider.
Over the years Dr Pepper has found success as a quirky alternative to Coke and Pepsi. It’s the hero brand in Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) which, along with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, make up the three largest soda companies in the $37 billion US market, as measured by NIQ in retail and convenience stores.
Recently, Dr Pepper has been gaining ground on its competitors, even as the overall soda market goes flat.
Dr Pepper soda grew its dollar share by 9% from 2003 to 2021, compared to a 26% drop in the carbonated soft drinks category overall, according to Keurig Dr Pepper, citing IRI and the Beverage Digest factbook. Today, Dr Pepper is the fourth most popular soda in the country after Coke, Pepsi and Mountain Dew.
Meanwhile, Blue Bell was started in 1807 in Brenham by a group of business men making butter from excess cream from area farms. Originally called Brenham Creamery Company, the company changed its name to Blue Bell in 1930, and in 1958 expanded its product line with ice cream.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner contributed to this report