My drink of choice is Pepsi, and I used to drink it all the time. I mean ALL the time. Now I'm trying to eliminate caffeine and soda from my diet, but I still have one every few months. Hubby, on the other hand, loves Dr Pepper. In fact, his entire family loves Dr Pepper. Last year, I bought several 2 liter bottles of each that were flat, no fizz at all. From then on, I started reading the expiration dates on bottles before buying them.
The expiration date on Pepsi and most other drinks are easy to read. There's a stamp on the bottle or lid with a common abbreviation for month and then the day and year.
Finding the expiration of Dr Pepper is a little harder. There is a code on the lid, but I couldn't read it. Or at least I couldn't until the I talked to a man stocking Dr Pepper at the grocery store. He whipped out a decoder card and let me snap a picture so I could use it when I needed to read the code, and now you can have it too. It's not a secret code and it wasn't shared with me in confidence. In fact, once you see it, you'll see how easy it is. The black lines didn't photograph well, but you can fill it in easily. The first column is A-M, without an I because it looks too much like J. Second column is January-December. Third column is J-M,A-H, again no I, and so on with the next columns.
For this blog post, I bought the bottle pictured above. And on the lid are a bunch of numbers.
Now here's the code breaker.
The code on my lid is D8119DP3; under that code is 15:54. I'm going to divide that first group of numbers. D-8-119-DP-3. D means it was made in April. 8 is the last number of the year made, which would be 2018. 119 is the day of the year it was made. The 119th day of 2018 was April 29. There are a lot of date converters online. I used Epoch Converter. I think DP3 is the plant and shift number and 15:54 is the time (military time) it was made. He didn't explain that part to me because all I really wanted to know was when it was made and when it expires.
Now for the expiration date you have to know the shelf life of the product.
- A product with Aspartame or Aspartame/AceK blends, like diet Dr Pepper, has a shelf life of 3 months.
- Any product in a plastic bottle has a shelf life of 3 months.
- A product with sugar or high fructose corn syrup in can or glass bottle has shelf life of 9 months.
- The 6 month and 12 month codes are for Snapple.
Knowing this code now, my Dr Pepper will expire July 29, 2018. But I'm sure Hubby will drink it before then.
Check out Part Two specifically for canned Dr. Pepper.