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Dr Pepper switching to sugar for summer

Dr Pepper is prescribing some sugar this summer in honor of its 125th anniversary, the latest move by a soda maker to temporarily swap out high fructose corn syrup.

The spicy soda made by Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. rolled out Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" this weekend. Cans and bottles in six designs, featuring vintage logos and popular phrases, will be available through early September.

Manufacturers are testing sugar drinks as people's appetite for them increases and as some become concerned about high fructose corn syrup and possible health risks.

Last summer, rival PepsiCo Inc. launched sugar versions of Pepsi and Mountain Dew, and Coca-Cola Co. offers a kosher version of Coke that uses sugar.

The industry switched to high fructose corn syrup in the 1970s as a cheaper alternative to sugar, said Gerry Khermouch, editor of Beverage Business Insights. But drink makers are also wary of sending a message that there's anything wrong with high fructose corn syrup.

"In some ways their worst nightmare is that this thing sells through the roof, because then that's telling them something about how consumers feel about their product," Khermouch said.

- AP

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