7Up’s inscrutable freshness date

I like Sugar Free 7Up but its freshness date is a challenge to decipher.

I only worry about soft drink freshness dates when buying diet soda, since artifical sweeteners often have a shelf life half as long as their full-suagar siblings. Coke and Pepsi typically display month, day, and year on all their soft drinks. 7Up, however, doesn’t make it easy.

Recently, I contacted 7Up’s corporate entity, Keurig Dr Pepper, for help figuring out the freshness date on the bottom of a can of Zero Sugar 7Up. Here’s their response.

Dear Leigh

Thank you for contacting us about 7UP.  We’re always excited to hear from our consumers. Your comments give us valuable input about our brands and how they are enjoyed. 

According to your message let me explain the appropriate way to read your code, 20:03 2299 NL3

The first part with the first 4 digits is the production military time; 20:03

To find out when your product was made, use the second part with the 4 digits of the code, 2299.

2 = Year (0 = 2020, 9 = 2019, 1 – 2021, 2 – 2022)
299 = Julian Date  (299rd Day of the year, or October 26th)

The date provided indicates that the product was manufactured on October 26th, 2022.  This product has a 3 months shelf life.​

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact us, Leigh. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reply to this email or contact us by phone at (800) 696-5891.  We appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback and experience.


Consumer Relations

I wrote back and thanked Keurig Dr Pepper for enlightening me and suggested it would be simpler to stamp “Best by Jan. 26, 2023” instead. I haven’t heard back from them yet.

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