Updated at: 23-06-2023 - By: John Lau

Root beer has always been a popular choice for those seeking a caffeine-free alternative in the world of carbonated soft drinks. With so many brands and options available, it’s no wonder that people often question which beverage conglomerate owns their favorite root beer product – such as A&W Root Beer.

In this blog post, we will dive into the history and ownership behind A&W to reveal if it’s a Coke or Pepsi product.

Understanding The Root Beer Industry

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Major beverage companies produce a wide variety of carbonated soft drinks, including root beer, with PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company being two major players in the industry.

Brands And Products Of Major Beverages Companies

The beverage industry is filled with a wide variety of brands and products from major companies, catering to every consumer preference, including those for root beer. As a part of the root beer industry, understanding these major players and their product offerings provides insight into the market competition and dynamics. Here’s a look at some popular brands and products from major beverage companies:

  1. PepsiCo: The largest soda company in the world with a revenue of $86.392 billion, PepsiCo owns various well-known brands such as Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Quaker Oats, Tropicana, Sabra, Stacy’s Pita Chips, Naked Juice, Pearl Milling Company, and Starbucks.
  2. Coca-Cola: A global giant in the beverage industry with an extensive product portfolio that includes Coca-Cola Classic (Coke), Diet Coke/Coca-Cola Light, Sprite/7UP (depending on location), Fanta Orange/Fruit Twist/Zero/Still Orange/Pink/Grape/Soda/Lemon/Tropical/Apple/Berry/Peach/Mango (several flavors)/Frosty/Wild Cherry/Sour Watermelon Frosty Cherry/Blue Raspberry/Tangerine Lime/Ice/Juicy Strawberry/Vanilla/Lime & Bitters/Pineapple Burst/Wild Cherry Berry/Blastin’ Blueberry/Papaya Milkshake
  3. Keurig Dr Pepper: A prominent player in the beverage industry owning popular brands such as Dr Pepper, 7UP (in certain regions), Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Lemonade Soda Mixes/Specialty Sodas/Iced Teas/Lemonades/Mixers/Snacks & Groceries/Diet Foods/t+g Electrolyte Drinks/Holiday Favorites/snapple/Pepsi True/KP Organic/Nantucket Nectars/Old Orchard Originals/Riunite/Rainbow Citrus Punch/VitaminFizz/Stadium Adventure Mix
  4. Nestlé: A global food and beverage company with a wide range of soft drinks, such as Nescafé, Nespresso, Starbucks Coffee & Cream Lattes/Illusions/Classics/Tazo Tea/Ocean Spray Juice/Ultra Ale/Muscatel/Raspberry Ripple/Clear/Fanta Slush/Sparkling Water/Kombucha/Frappuccino
  5. The Original Root Beer: Hires root beer is considered one of the oldest soda brands on the market, dating back well over a century and continues to be a popular carbonated drink choice for root beer enthusiasts.

Ownership Of A&W Root Beer

Navigating the complex world of beverage ownership can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to popular and longstanding brands like A&W Root Beer. For those who might wonder whether A&W falls under the umbrella of major players in carbonated soft drinks such as Coca-Cola or PepsiCo, the answer may come as a surprise.

In fact, A&W is not a product of Coke or Pepsi but is part of Keurig Dr.

A unique aspect that sets A&W apart from its competitors within the nonalcoholic beverage market is its ability to thrive independently by avoiding direct affiliation with industry giants like Coke and Pepsi.

This strategic move has not only contributed to a 10 percent growth for the brand last year but also allowed A&W to maintain its iconic identity and legacy throughout nearly 100 years in drink manufacturing.

The History And Ownership Of A&W Root Beer

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Founding And Expansion Of The A&W Brand

The inception of A&W Root Beer dates back to 1919, when Roy W. Allen decided to venture into the beverage sector with a unique offering for North American customers who sought delicious alternatives to traditional alcoholic drinks.

Just three years after its launch, Frank Wright joined forces with Allen, establishing their joint venture as A&W Root Beer Company and expanding the brand’s reach throughout the United States and Canada.

By 1924, Allen purchased Wright’s share and obtained an exclusive trademark for what is now recognized globally as the world’s top-selling root beer. Over time, A&W Root Beer managed to carve out its own niche within the highly competitive soft drink industry by creating innovative ways of serving this beloved classic – such as drive-in stands and dine-in restaurants – while successfully avoiding direct confrontation against soda giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

Previous Partnerships With Coke And Pepsi

A&W Root Beer has had a history of partnerships with major soft drink companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. In 1963, A&W formed a partnership with Coca-Cola to expand their distribution and introduce new products to the market.

However, in the 1980s, A&W ended its partnership with Coke and formed a new one with Pepsico to help distribute its products nationwide. Even though there have been these previous partnerships, A&W has always maintained an independent business model and continues to be owned by Keurig Dr.Pepper.

Current Ownership Structure And Brands Collaborations

A&W Root Beer is currently owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper, a parent company that owns over 125 different brands in the beverage industry. However, A&W has had previous partnerships with both Coca-Cola and Pepsi in the past for manufacturing and distribution purposes.

In terms of collaborations with other brands, A&W Root Beer has recently teamed up with Dunkin’ Donuts to create a new flavor: Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Iced Coffee Flavored Pop-Tarts featuring A&W Root Beer Float filling.

The Truth About A&W Root Beer Ownership

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Keurig Dr. Pepper’s Ownership Of A&W Root Beer

A&W Root Beer, a popular carbonated soft drink among alcoholics is owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper. In fact, A&W Root Beer is just one of the many brands under their umbrella, with Keurig Dr.

Pepper owning over 125 other beverage brands. The rights to the A&W brand (except in Canada) are wholly owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper and licensed to U.S-based A&W Restaurant chain which operates independently from them.

The Great American Brand LLC’s Relationship With A&W Root Beer

A&W Root Beer is currently owned by The Great American Brand LLC, a company that specializes in reviving beloved American brands. With its acquisition of A&W Root Beer in 2011, the company has been able to bring new life to this classic soda brand.

As part of its strategy, The Great American Brand LLC has collaborated with other brands such as Kellogg’s and Hostess to introduce new products like A&W Root Beer Float Pop-Tarts and Twinkies.

This partnership has allowed A&W Root Beer to expand beyond its traditional beverage market and appeal to a wider audience.

The Future Of A&W Root Beer

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A&W Root Beer faces challenges from emerging soda brands, but its unique identity and market niche provide opportunities for expansion with new flavors and product offerings in the future.

Market Competition And Challenges

One of the challenges that A&W Root Beer faces in the market is stiff competition from other established brands like Barq’s and Mug. The constant introduction of new flavors by competitors also presents a challenge for A&W Root Beer to stay relevant in today’s marketplace.

However, despite these challenges, A&W Root Beer has managed to maintain its loyal customer base over the years through effective marketing strategies and product differentiation.

For instance, the brand has launched several unique flavors such as Cream Soda and Cherry Vanilla that cater to varied consumer preferences.

As we look into the future of A&W Root Beer amidst growing market trends and changing consumer preferences, there is an opportunity for expansion into untapped markets within North America or introducing new products that align with healthy lifestyle choices without compromising on taste or quality.

Potential For New Flavors And Products

A&W Root Beer has been a classic beverage for decades, but there is still room for new flavors and products to keep the brand fresh. With changing market trends and consumer preferences, A&W Root Beer could potentially create exciting spin-off flavors or unique product collaborations.

For example, Olipop, a startup company making plant-powered sodas with natural ingredients, offers throwback root beer flavor that appeals to consumers looking for nostalgic tastes in their drinks.

Furthermore, the 10% increase of A&W Root Beer sales last year indicates that there’s still demand for new soft drink options within the carbonated beverages industry.

A&W Root Beer’s Unique Identity And Legacy

A&W Root Beer has a unique identity that sets it apart from other carbonated beverages. Its distinctive flavor comes from the blend of ingredients used, such as sarsaparilla root, birch bark, licorice root and anise.

The recipe for this iconic drink has been passed down through generations and is what makes A&W Root Beer stand out in the crowded soft drinks market.

As one of America’s legacy brands of root beer, A&W Root Beer has a strong connection with its past. It represents nostalgia and purity to those who have grown up drinking it or even just heard about it from their parents or grandparents.


In conclusion, A&W Root Beer is not a Coke or Pepsi product. It’s a unique and classic drink that has been enjoyed by millions since its founding in 1919.

Despite previous partnerships with Coke and Pepsi, A&W Root Beer is currently owned by The Great American Brand LLC. As competition in the beverage industry grows more intense, A&W Root Beer faces challenges but also opportunities to expand and innovate.

Whatever the future holds for this beloved brand, it will always have a special place in the hearts of those who appreciate its distinctive flavor and history.