Coca-Cola becomes the exclusive supplier of the university – The Rider News

By Sarah Griffin

Rider has entered into a 10-year partnership with Liberty Coca-Cola, according to a June 13 press release from the university.

Liberty Coca-Cola will now be the official beverage supplier for Rider, meaning the only soft drinks and other bottled beverages provided by the university will be company products, since the deal went into effect on July, 1st.

Instead of Pepsi and Gatorade, products of PepsiCo Inc., students will only be able to purchase Coke and Powerade, products of Liberty Coca-Cola, at official university restaurants and vending machines.

Student athletes will also receive Powerade at school-sponsored sporting events, instead of Gatorade.

Rider’s Vice President for University Facilities and Operations, Mike Reca, was part of the team leading the partnership. “We had Pepsi here for 27 years so we had to make a transition, which is never fun when you have a partner for that long,” Reca said. “Pepsi was great, but Coke’s offer was better.”

Reca said the better financial deal along with other aspects are what led Rider to switch providers.

According to Reca, in April, University Facilities and Operations formed a fifteen-person committee of faculty, staff, and students who listened to presentations from PepsiCo Inc. and Liberty Coca-Cola about why each company would be better for the university.

Reca said after the presentations, the committee voted unanimously to move from PepsiCo Inc. to Liberty Coca-Cola.

Part of the deal included replacing all manual soda dispensers with electronic dispensers made by Liberty Coca-Cola.

Some Rider students have found that although the machines have the ability to offer a wide variety of non-alcoholic beverages, some drinks have been consistently out of service since the machines were introduced on campus.

Reca said the interview was the first he’d ever heard about the drinks release, adding, “When these issues arise, I hope the people having fun at Cran’s go to the managers or say to someone from the staff that something came out.

“It should be changed immediately,” Reca admitted of missing drinks from Coke Freestyle machines.

According to Kylie McMahon, a fifth-year student in the athletic leadership program and student-athlete on the swim team, “Rider did a good job.

She had minimal criticisms, such as the powerade bottles being “more difficult to squeeze and release the drink compared to the Gatorade ones.” McMahon then continued, “I think the change is good, so if that’s the direction they want to go then I’m all for it. I like the machines they have at Cranberry’s.

Giavanna Lupi, a health science major, said, “My preference is for cola products. I know Gatorade better than Powerade, but I can drink either.

According to Reca, the University’s partnership with Coca-Cola has the same opportunity to be renewed in ten years as the PepsiCo Inc. partnership did.

Originally printed in the 9/21 issue.

Earnest L. Veasey