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Ozarks Gets First Taste of New Soft Drink

This is the sound of the very first bottles of a new soft drink being capped at the Ozarks Coca-Cola/ Dr Pepper Bottling Company. The Springfield bottling plant is the first in the nation to roll out Red Fusion, the first new product made by Dr Pepper in 117 years.

Red Fusion was introduced at a ceremony Thursday morning at the bottling company. Jack Kilduff, president and chief presiding officer of the Dr Pepper Company, explains why, after more than a century, the company created a new flavor.

Although other plants have had test-runs of the new soft drink, the Springfield plant is the first of more than 400 bottlers to produce Red Fusion commercially.

Edwin "Cookie" Rice, owner of the Ozarks Coca-Cola/ Dr Pepper Bottling Company, says his involvement with the product's development lead to the local introduction.

So, how does Red Fusion taste? Several area soft drink vendors sampled the new beverage Thursday morning and shared their thoughts. Following the ceremony, a truck took samples of the new beverage to the Boys and Girls Clubs and several Springfield city parks.

Red Fusion should reach area retailers by this weekend. Nation-wide distribution is expected by August. From the Ozarks Coca-Cola/ Dr Pepper Bottling Company, I'm Jenny Fillmer for KSMU News.