Ellie Park, Photography Editor

No longer will Coca-Cola flow from dining-hall drink fountains. Instead, beginning this semester, students will find a new line of PepsiCo products in their residential college serveries.

The University switched its beverage deal from Coca-Cola to PepsiCo this year after operating on a three-year extended agreement with Coca-Cola from 2020 to 2023. The new contract brought swift changes to the University’s beverage-dispensing infrastructure. By the start of September, large Pepsi-branded drink machines had begun replacing Coke machines in residential college dining halls. 

Students have expressed mixed reactions to the change.

“Coke and Pepsi are completely different things,” Norah Laughter ’26 said. “Anyone can distinguish between Starry and Sprite. I am actually really upset about it.”

Brands included in Pepsi’s current drink lineup include Starry, Bubly, Gatorade, Brisk Iced Tea and Tropicana Lemonade.

Eleven of the residential college dining halls have switched to Pepsi, while Grace Hopper, Jonathan Edwards and Berkeley colleges still have Coke products as of Tuesday night, per the News’ investigation.

Gerry Remer, director of sourcing and procurement for Yale Hospitality, told the News that the University’s beverage deal expired in 2020, and since then, the school has maintained an extended agreement with the company due to COVID-19 constraints.

Remer said that the University conducted an “extensive” review to select a new beverage service provider. In this process, Yale Hospitality collaborated with several University stakeholders, including central procurement and general counsel, which are the University’s purchasing and legal offices, respectively.

“After three years, this multi-faceted process has concluded with our embarking on a journey with Pepsi,” Remer wrote to the News. “Students now have access to some of the most popular bottled drinks they used to pay for in cafés, which they can now enjoy without additional spending.” 

Nationally, Coca-Cola products are more popular than Pepsi — in 2018, Coke held 17.8 percent of the beverage market share, while Pepsi held only 8.4 percent. According to a poll conducted by Mashed, out of 36,000 respondents worldwide, 64 percent of people said they preferred Coke to its globe-logoed competitor.

Yalies seem to hold similar views. According to a poll posted to the anonymous social media app Fizz on Sept. 9, 65 percent of respondents — which amounts to 1,054 Yale student voters out of a total 1,622 — supported Coca-Cola products over Pepsi, as of Sept. 13. Fourteen percent of respondents threw their weight behind Pepsi, while the remaining 21 percent chose the “Neither/results” option. 

While some students, like Laughter, prefer the old Coke drinks to the current offerings, other Yalies expressed ambivalence about the shift to Pepsi.

Ashley Sottosanti ’26 said that while she does not drink soda often, she does miss the Lipton tea machine in the Pierson College dining hall, which was removed when the new Pepsi machine arrived.

“I don’t personally care that much, but I did once I found out about the iced-tea machine,” Sottosanti said. “Now that’s my main concern. It doesn’t really affect my life that much, but I would say that this is sad.”

PepsiCo was founded in 1965 and Coca-Cola in 1886.

TRISTAN HERNANDEZ
Tristan Hernandez covers student policy and affairs for the News. He is also a copy editor and previously reported on student life. Originally from Austin, Texas, he is a sophomore in Pierson College majoring in political science.