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Coca-Cola signs on as U of C’s exclusive cold-beverage provider for at least five years

By Tina Shaygan, October 13 2017 —

The University of Calgary will be serving Coca-Cola beverages exclusively on campus for at least the next five years. Prior to the agreement, Pepsi had been the school’s exclusive cold-beverage provider.

Ancillary Services director Shane Royal said the change was due to the expiration of Pepsi’s contract.

“We had a 10-year agreement with Pepsi that expired this year,” he said. “We decided we wanted to go back in the market.”

Royal said the consultation process for the new contract included student groups such as the Students’ Union, the Graduate Students’ Association and the Dinos as well as representatives from Residence Services. He added that the process included complex criteria for bidding companies to meet.

SU vice-president operations and finance Ryan Wallace said the SU is part of the cold-beverage evaluation committee that works on the development of request for proposal (RFP) form. RFPs indicate a vacancy for a particular project or program that companies can place bids on. The RFP and criteria for a new cold-beverage agreement was discussed last year by the evaluation committee.

Wallace added that the SU has been involved with the process for approximately two years.

“[SU president] Branden [Cave] was really a part of the RFP development side of things last year and I was more on the evaluation side of things,” he said.

Wallace emphasized the impact cold-beverage agreements can have for students. For example, SU-registered clubs can request up to 48 free cans of pop per semester, which Wallace said is sponsored by the company with the exclusive beverage-selling rights on campus.

Wallace explained that Coca-Cola will also offer a portion of funding for services like the SU Food Bank. He said this is typical for a company that puts a proposal forward for beverage rights on campus.

“The evaluation process is based on the benefits of what is Coke offering, what is Pepsi offering,” Wallace said.

The contract with Coca-Cola could be extended for up to another five years after the initial five.

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