Feb 082012
Authors: Allison LeCain

They’re all around campus, those machines that light the halls with an iridescent glow calling out to all students, “drink me.”

These silver machines are exclusively home to Coca-Cola products since they bought the rights to all drink vending machines on Colorado State University’s campus, which means no more Pepsi products. While some people find no difference in the two drinks, many people at CSU are happy with the change.

Junior psychology student Cole Lewis, 20, said she prefers Coke over Pepsi.

“I think Pepsi tastes citrusy and bitter,” Lewis said. “Coke Zero is my favorite.”

Kim Judith, who works at accounting services for the computer science department at CSU, is also a Coke Zero fan and makes common visits to the Coke touch screen vending machine in Lory Student Center.

“I try to buy something from the machine twice a week because I want to show them that we like it,” Judith said while purchasing a bottle of Coke Zero as she held an unopened can of the identical drink in her hand.

Judith said that she likes the new vending machines for two reasons: one, they all accept credit cards, and two, they are not filled with Pepsi.

Through the ten-year multi-million dollar contract that CSU signed with Coca-Cola, CSU will only be selling Coke products, which are available at 175 vending stations on campus, according to a press release by Coca-Cola. All machines accept cash and credit and some take RamCash.

While Coke is benefiting from the partnership by selling their products at CSU, the university gets a lot out of the contract, as well. Through this investment, Coke will help to provide funding and scholarship opportunities while sponsoring academics and athletics, according to Maria Cereghino, Coca-Cola public affairs and communications manager.

While Cereghino said that Coca-Cola cannot release information about how much money CSU is getting from the contract, a percent of annual funds will be put towards the Beverage Management Institute in CSU’s College of Business. This is a new program designed to educate students on beverage management and marketing.

It seems that Coca-Cola is a valuable company to learn marketing from, seeing how advanced and snazzy their vending machines have become.

Many of the machines are touch screen and offer Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Cherry Coke, Mellow Yellow, Dasani, Powerade and Fanta. On the digital screen little word bubbles pop up over each drink choice switching back and forth from saying “pick me” to “$1.25.”

Although the screens are very bright and appear to use a lot more energy than traditional vending machines, Coca-Cola adheres to CSU’s green initiative by ensuring that all machines are Energy Star Compliant, according to a press release by Coca-Cola. Coke bottles are also made from 30 percent plant material and are recyclable.

Junior international studies student Crystal Schuller, 20, described the vending machines as futuristic.

“I bet it has its own Wi-Fi hotspot,” Schuller said. “I feel like there is a point where they’re going to sell everything and it’s going to come through a pipe out of the ground.”

While Schuller said she has no preference between Coke and Pepsi, she thinks the Coke machines are very interesting and will make a lot of money.

“It’s a mega corporation that is supporting our school,” Schuller said. “That’s what matters to me.”

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