FAMU Students Upset Over Pepsi Collaboration

Photo courtesy Kayla Parker

After an 18-year partnership with Coca-Cola, Florida A&M University has now contracted with Pepsi-Cola to provide pouring rights and beverage vending for the university.

As of Nov. 1, Pepsi vending machines and fountain drink machines have begun to replace the previous Coca-Cola vending machines around campus.

However, many students are not pleased with the switch.

The topic of the new collaboration was discussed in the FAMU Presidential Dining Hall Friday afternoon where several students voiced their opinions.

Among the students was Imani Jennings, a second year business administration student from Miami, Fla., who is upset that the new Pepsi machines do not have pink lemonade since HI-C, the manufacturer of the lemonade, is in partnership with Coca-Cola instead of Pepsi.

"I hate Pepsi. It's a knock off coke," Jennings said.

Other students had similar opinions.

One third-year student, who prefers to remain anonymous, felt the university should have allowed the students to participate in the decision to make the switch.

“I got the email about the change earlier this week, and I didn't understand it. They didn't even ask us,” the student said.

While many students are upset, the university guarantees that the switch will benefit the school.

According to Rebecca Brown, FAMU’s interim assistant vice-president for administrative affairs, the decision to switch from Coca-Cola came as the contract with the company was expiring.

Photo courtesy of Kayla Parker
Coca-Cola and FAMU are nearing contract expiration.
They have signed a new contract with Pepsi

“The university’s beverage and pouring rights contract with Coca Cola was expiring, so the services were advertised through the competitive solicitation process. Refreshment Services Pepsi was the successful bidder,” Brown said.

Some of the expected benefits of the switch include improved refreshment services, vending and fountain machines with advanced technology and increased sponsorships.

The university is still in the process of replacing all Coca-Cola machines with Pepsi machines in the residence halls, academic buildings, athletic venues and dining establishments.

The switch is expected to be completed by the Thanksgiving break.