Coca-Cola and Pepsi compete for campus beverage contract

With nearly one month left before UC Berkeley’s current beverage contract is set to expire, two companies vying to enter into a beverage contract with the campus — and gain the exclusive beverage sales rights which accompany it — responded to a request for proposal that campus stakeholders released in May.

Rather than accepting offers from many companies before entering a protracted process of call, tweak and response, stakeholders released the minimum requirements necessary for beverage companies bidding for a contract in an expedited request for proposal process.

Due to the extent of requests as well as a stipulation that bidders must illustrate experience with other accounts of comparable size, small contenders were weeded out early, leaving only Coca-Cola Co. — the company in the current campus contract, which is set to expire Aug. 3 — and PepsiCo Inc., the only other player of comparable size, to respond to the request for proposal.

The four campus units comprising the contract’s stakeholders — the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, ASUC Auxiliary, Residential and Student Service Programs and the Recreational Sports Facility — stand to gain much should the minimum requirements outlined in the request for proposal be met.

The proposal’s minimum requirements included a $1.3 million annual sponsorship fee to be paid to the campus stakeholders, as well as $15,000 paid annually to the campus sustainability program, $40,000 worth of product donations and $235,000 in marketing and promotion funding to support recycling programs, student groups, the ASUC’s SUPERB entertainment series and other campus-sponsored events, according to the request for proposal.

The $1.3 million sponsorship represents a figure of $685,000 more than the average amount paid to the campus annually by Coca-Cola in the previous contract. If this base requirement is met, the new contract’s total worth would be more than twice that of the current contract.

Absent from the request for proposal were the volume incentives that figured prominently into the current contract with Coca-Cola.