(Photo by August Jennewein)

Coke or Pepsi?

“Are you kidding? Coke. When I want a real soda, I get a Coke,” said the woman, pointing to the soda can on her desk.

Pepsi drinkers seem a lot less committed to their brand.

“If I have a choice, I’ll take a Pepsi. But if there’s no Pepsi, I’ll drink Coke,” said the man eating lunch at his desk.

Coke drinkers at the University of Missouri–St. Louis are expected to celebrate next week as Pepsi product fountains and vending machines are replaced with the Coca-Cola brand. Why the switch?

“A better promise of great service and best value for the university,” said Benard Diggs, director of Millennium Student Center operations and chair of a committee that looked at the university’s beverage service contract. The current contract with Pepsi had been in effect for five years.

According to Diggs, the university sought proposals for a new contract. The committee awarded the Coca-Cola Company a five-year contract, effective July 1.

“Coca-Cola is proud to support the students, faculty and staff of the University of Missouri–St. Louis with this partnership,” said Chuck Wyant, market unit vice president, Coca-Cola Refreshments. “UMSL is one of the area’s finest universities, and we are delighted to help refresh the Tritons.”

Representatives from Coca-Cola met with a group of staff members July 2 to discuss student events and activities in the fall and Coke promotions.

Be on the lookout for Coke’s iconic polar bear, who will team up with UMSL’s mascot, Louie the Triton, at various events during welcome week starting Aug. 19. Coke promises samples and lots of giveaways throughout the year as the company reintroduces itself to the UMSL community.

Coca-Cola’s long-running recycling campaign with its promotions and incentives holds promise for the campus. The company has also partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness and funds for an Arctic refuge for polar bears.

According to the company, fountain installations will begin July 9 in the Provincial House Dining Hall and the new Southside Café. Fountain installation in the Nosh will follow. New vending machines across campus also will be installed beginning July 9.

Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel