Coke removed due to contract

William Miles

After 14 years of serving Coca-Cola products, the Burger King in Sacramento State’s University Union made the switch to Pepsi earlier this month to comply with the University Enterprises, Inc. (UEI) exclusivity contract with Pepsi, Executive Director of UEI Jim Reinhart said.

Juan Sanchez, store manager of the Burger King in the University Union, said they were pushed to make the switch to Pepsi.

“When Burger King came to Sac State in 1998, the same year as Pepsi, it was able to serve Coke because Pepsi allowed the exception,” Reinhart said.

While there was an exception made then, UEI wanted to get into full compliance with the contract. The contract is set up where volume thresholds need to be met each year and having Burger King not contributing to reach that goal did not help, Reinhardt said.

Due to Burger King not serving Coke, the eatery had to pay UEI $250 a month ($3,000 a year) as a penalty for not serving Pepsi.

The motivation to get Burger King to switch is due to what UEI gets for the exclusivity contract.

Pepsi pays UEI $480,000 a year. The bulk of that, $400,000 each year, is used to pay off the debt that was incurred in the building the Broad Athletic Facility.

“It is typical for universities to have exclusivity agreements with either Coke or Pepsi,” Reinhardt said. “The reason why Coke and Pepsi go into these agreements is they want to get students as loyal customers; they are thinking long term.”

The switch happened on Oct. 1 and was in the works for the past year. Burger King needed to get approval from its headquarters to drop Coke and serve Pepsi, Reinhart said.

Honey Adegunwa, a junior business major, said she liked Burger King better than the other eatery choices on campus, but failed to notice the switch.

“I believe it is fine,” said Sanchez. “Most students don’t seem to be bothered about the switch.”

Sanchez said he has received a handful of complaints from some of the student body.

“Students would come here just to get Coke,” Sanchez said. “Now they cannot.”

Don’t expect to see Coke being sold on campus anytime soon either – Pepsi’s contract lasts until 2031.

William Miles can be reached at [email protected]