Ryerson seeks “preferred deal” in cola wars

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By Hamida Ghafour and Caroline Alphonso

As the University of Toronto moves closer to signing an exclusivity deal with a soft drink company, Ryerson has decided to negotiate a “preferred deal” for its campus.

This means neither Coca-Cola or PepsiCo will be the sole beverage provider, said John Corrallo, Ryerson’s director of ancillary services.

Oakham House, the International Living/Learning Centre and the proposed Student Campus Centre will maintain say over what beverages they sell.

“We didn’t want to limit their opportunities,” said Corrallo.

The cola wars began last September when a surge of Coke machines arrived on campus. While Corrallo would not say how close the university is to signing a deal, U of T continues to move toward signing an exclusivity contract, said Michael Finlayson, the university’s v.p. finance.

The school is meeting with student leaders, but Finlayson said their opinions will not affect cola negotiations. A deal is expected to be finalized in the coming months.

If a contract is signed, U of T will join schools such as York University, McMaster University and the University of Guelph, which have all signed exclusivity soft drink deals.

York’s agreement with Pepsi, which was announced last summer, is expected to pump $7.5 million into student organizations in the next ten years.

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