Goodbye Coca-Cola, hello Pepsi: RWU announces switch in drink vendor

Coca-Cola vending machines, such as this one by the Fitness Center, will be replaced by Pepsi vending machines starting on July 1.

Megan Willgoos, Managing Editor

Coca-Cola products will no longer be for sale at RWU starting June 30. This news was announced in a Student Senate meeting on May 6.

Coca-Cola products have been with RWU for the past 10 years, but Pepsi offered the better portfolio for choice of beverage, according to Bon Appetit General Manager, James Gubata, and the Student Senate.

“Their equipment and point of sale seemed to be better marketed to college students, so we think students will like the new look and new brands,” Gubata said.

Kayla Devin, student body president for the 2018-2019 academic year, was one of the two students who heard the pitches from both companies. She supported the change due to reasons such as sustainability and future innovations.

“While it’s difficult to please everyone, we think that after seeing Pepsi’s extensive portfolio, students will respond well to the wide range of offerings, including brands like Gatorade and Starbucks bottled drinks,” Devin said.

Coca-Cola products seem to be more popular than Pepsi drinks in the carbonated categories. However, Gubata said that students are starting to lean toward more healthier choices.

“It’s still a glass full of sugar and promotes unhealthy beverages,” freshman Kat Sturdevant said.

Starting on July 1, students will see the switch of products, including a new mixing machine in Lower Commons. 

“It’ll definitely take some getting used to and I’ll have to switch up my routine but I don’t think it’ll be huge for me,” junior Brooke Preuhs said. “I used to actually like Pepsi better, but when I came to RWU they had Coke products so I just got used to it.”

Some students may not even notice the switch, while others may be shocked by the change. One of the biggest differences with Pepsi coming in will be the disappearance of Sprite, a beverage that many students on campus enjoy drinking. 

“Thank God, I’m graduating,” said senior Jake Chipkin. “I love Sprite too much to have it taken away from me at Roger.”

Pepsi does supply a carbonated drink that is similar to Sprite, called Sierra Mist, but some students maintain that it just does not taste the same. 

“They are losing out on great taste. Sprite isn’t nearly the same as Sierra Mist,” Chipkin said.

RWU thanks Coca-Cola for their business, while acknowledging that Pepsi brought better ideas and contract terms to win the “pouring rights.” 

“We enjoyed a great relationship with the Coke personnel who supported our account the past 10 years,” Vice President of Student Life, Dr. John King, said. “We are also very, very excited to be working with Pepsi.”