What the Numbers 10, 2, and 4 Mean On the Original Dr Pepper Bottles
With its signature fizzy, sweet, cherry-cola zing, Dr Pepper has long been a Southern-favorite soda. First created over 130 years ago in Waco, Texas, by a pharmacist to serve at his drugstore counter, it’s officially the nation’s oldest major soft drink. (Yes, even including Coca-Cola.) And while we still get to enjoy each of the 23 mystery flavors in the modern-day can, the original recipe made with pure cane sugar is where Southerners’ hearts really lie—served in an iced-down glass bottle, of course.
When taking a glance back at the original glass bottles containing the caffeinated refresher, not many people actually notice the distinct trio of numbers that surround the vintage Dr Pepper logo: 10, 2, and 4. Typically, there are more important tasks in mind than dissecting the packaging, like cracking the bottle open and taking a big ‘ole sip, for example. But the origin of its iconic numbers remains elusive, unless you’re privy to the storied history of the Texas soda. You’re not? Here’s the scoop.
The Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, Texas, walks visitors through the fascinating history and tradition of the original Dr Pepper brand, including the obscure numbers 10, 2, and 4 on the glass bottles. Turns out, Dr Pepper’s first slogan was indeed, “Drink a bite to eat at 10, 2, and 4!” Does it make total sense to us now? Not really, but at the time, it won an ad campaign request put out by the brand after research in the 1920s showed that folks generally suffer from a sugar low around 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Hence the need for a sugary, bubbly beverage like Dr Pepper to get you going again.
While you won’t see the numbers on the modern-day can, you can still see 10, 2, and 4 on retro glass Dr Pepper bottles filled with the iconic Texas recipe made with real cane sugar—which can be found on Amazon here, if you’re lucky. Mystery solved.
In fact, we could maybe use a kick of caffeine right about now. Maybe they were onto something...