Crews work to fill new Coca Cola vending machines before classes start Monday. (Photo by James Hill)
When the 2009-10 school year gets under way on Monday, returning students, staff and faculty may be surprised to find Coca Cola dispenser, and not Pepsi Cola, in the cafeterias.
A Portland Community College committee met this summer and proposed to the college Board of Directors to sign a 10-year deal with Coke. The committee estimated that the deal will net an additional $381,000 in revenue over the decade, plus $211,000 in savings on the price of Coke products sold at PCC.
The college had asked both soft drink companies for a fixed price over the 10-year life of the contract, according to Wing-Kit Chung, vice president for administrative services. Coca Cola agreed; Pepsi requested a 10-year contract but committed to only a two-year price freeze.
"In addition to cost, the equipment from Coca Cola is much more sustainable and customer friendly than Pepsi," Chung said. Coke equipment has a temperature sensor to allow their equipment to automatically turn on/off when it gets to a certain temperature to maintain food safety. Also, their vending machines have wireless debit/credit card terminals so that students can use their plastics. "Pepsi can provide neither of these good features," he added.