Students who order a Coke from campus vendors walk away with “The Right One” instead, and even the soda cups here at Cal State Fullerton are emblazoned with the Pepsi logo.
The administration signed a 3-year contract with Pepsico in 1993 for “exclusive selling,” and renewed it in 1996 for another 10 years.
Harry R. Gianneschi, vice president of University Advancement, said both Pepsico and Coca-Cola are known for creative marketing strategies, selling everything from water to chips.
“We looked at them both to decide which one provided a better deal. Pepsi gave us more of the profit over the year, and it kept prices better for the students, so we signed the contract.”
He said that both Coca-Cola and Pepsi can be sold on campus, but neither one will invest in the campus unless they have an exclusive contract.
Sally Cadenas, a director of the internship center, said, “I have no choice even though I don’t like Pepsi products. I don’t like the taste of Pepsi. When I was at Cal State Long Beach, the school had a contract with Coke.”
Since she has been here for three years she has not seen any Coke products on campus. Sometimes she goes off campus to get a Coke.
Ashley Lee, a freshmen, was reading a textbook while drinking a Mountain Dew in the Titan Student Union food court.
“If there were more competition, it might make it cheaper,” Lee said. “There should be Coke products, but it may be hard to have those competitors at the same time. Whatever is good for the university is good for us.”
She added that she did not care about exclusive selling.
Gianneschi said Pepsico provides better services, such as more vending machines, lower prices and more profit to the university.
If the school does not have a contract, the company will try to increase the price every year, Gianneschi said.
The exclusive sales agreement has been popular because it provides more financial opportunities to students as well as the school.
Gianneschi said Pepsico’s contract requires the company to pay $1 million to CSUF plus a percentage of the profit from the sale of Pepsi products on campus.
“If there were both products, Coke and Pepsi, I would like to choose Coke,” said Jose Galindo, a senior child development major who didn’t know CSUF had only Pepsi products.
“I think it should be half-and-half,” Galindo said.
CSUF gave other soft drink companies an opportunity to propose a contract before signing the contract with Pepsico, as most universities do.
“I don’t look at Pepsi being here as a monopoly because my understanding is both companies had an equal opportunity to provide a service to the university,” said Tony Lynch, director of food and vending services. “We look at the benefits that each company can offer to the university in the long run.”