Contract with Pepsi pending

January 26, 2011

by Mary Timmons, STAFF REPORTER

With a contract in the works, Tech students might notice a change in which soft drinks are offered on campus. 

About 60 vending machines will be switched from Coca-Cola Co. products to Pepsi-Cola beverages said Joe Thomas, vice president for finance and administration. 

“We’re in the process of working on an agreement with Pepsi,” Thomas said. “We hope to have that completed within the next few weeks.”

The beginnings of the switch from Coke to Pepsi can already be seen in Tolliver Hall. The Bytes store is already allowing the Coke products to dwindle down and is foreshadowing the coming change to Pepsi. However, students should be aware that there will be a varaity of drinks offered through the company.

According to the PepsiCo Inc. website, approximately $10 billion of Pepsi’s $60 billion sales comes from their healthy products, such as fruit juices, dairy products and sports drinks. It also said Pepsi is committed to tripling this part of their business by 2020. PepsiCo Inc.’s products include the Pepsi-Cola brands, as well as Mountain Dew, Amp energy drinks, Starbucks Frappucinos and SoBe Lifewater. With the impending change, questions such as which drinks will be offered and whether the change is limited to vending machines or if it’s a change around the entire campus, are common. 

Quinn Dossett, the district marketing manager for Aramark, said that this change is not through Aramark. 

Though the change may affect Coke products, a variety of soft drink products will offered. 

“Dr Pepper is under the 10 percent pouring clause. It will still be available.” Thomas said. 

The 10 percent pouring clause gives Tech the flexibility to offer products that are not under the PepsiCo product list. Student Government Association president Emily LaFleur said the organization is in charge of polling the students about the new selection in order to help decide the product list. 

“We want to make sure the Pepsi products offered are the ones students want. Therefore, we will be conducting random surveys,” LaFleur said. 

With the change becoming more tangible, students have begun expressing their thoughts on the switch from Coke to Pepsi.

Philip Ransom, a chemical engineering major, said he does not have a preference when it comes to Pepsi or Coke. 

“In the past, I drank a lot of Pepsi products, particularly Mountain Dew. I was disappointed when I found out Tech didn’t have it,” he said. “Recently, I have been drinking more Coke products.” 

Some students, like Mike Hinton, said they feel the change will greatly affect the drink sales in vending machines around campus. 

Hinton, a senior architecture major, said he has a Coke beverage about once at day, and he is more likely to choose Coke over Pepsi products.

“I think that people are going to be angry that Pepsi will be replacing Coke on campus, and it will probably have an effect on whether or not people are going to buy products on campus,” he said. “If campus doesn’t offer what people want then they will more than likely go somewhere else to buy it. The only drink I’m looking forward to really buying out of a Pepsi vending machine would be Mountain Dew.”

E-mail comments to mnt005@latech.edu.