After an absence of more than five years, Dr Pepper will be back on campus due to collaboration between Chartwells, Auxiliary Services and the Associated Student Government.
Dr Pepper will be distributed campus-wide in bottle and fountain form, and Pibb Xtra will be phased out of dining halls and retail locations. John Root, director of Auxiliary Services, said the soft drink should be in dining halls by the end of October. Dr Pepper is already being sold in the Paws Market and other Chartwells retail locations.
Chartwells is independently contracted with Coca-Cola. Dr Pepper was removed from campus in 2007 after Coke Zero was released. ASG president Nathan McDaniel and vice president Alison Sibley worked with Chartwells over the summer and negotiated a contract to distribute Dr Pepper again.
Root said it has been five years since Dr Pepper has been on campus, but Chartwells and ASG knew the soda was popular and wanted to find a way to bring it back to Texas State.
McDaniel said some students reacted negatively when Dr Pepper was phased out in 2007.
“(The complaints) have died down a little bit since then, but there’s always been a constant pecking at it,” McDaniel said.
Sibley said because Coke Zero has become an established soft drink, the timing was perfect to bring back Dr Pepper. McDaniel, Sibley and a Chartwells national representative negotiated with Coca-Cola to include Dr Pepper in their contract.
“It’s apparent now that companies are willing to work more for Texas State and want to be on this campus and give back to the students,” Sibley said.
The contract will expire May 31, 2015 and is worth approximately $475,000 annually.
Root said there is a $300,000 sponsorship payment that must be paid every fiscal year. Every time someone purchases an item from one of the more than 220 vending machines on campus, Coca-Cola keeps a portion of the money and Texas State keeps a portion in commission. Texas State makes between $160,000 and $175,000 from vending machine commissions per fiscal year.
The new contract included the addition of environmentally sustainable cups to every campus dining hall other than Harris and Commons. Root said ASG had a large hand in this incentive.
McDaniel said Coca-Cola initially did not want to include the cups in the contract because they start to decompose if they are not used quickly.
“We ensured them that we would use them fast enough,” McDaniel said. “And on top of that, we know that our students will be drinking Dr Pepper.”
McDaniel and Sibley said they have received nothing but positive feedback from students about the return of Dr Pepper.
“If we can make one person feel at home because they see a Dr Pepper in their refrigerator, and now they see it in their Chartwells dining facility, then I’m a happy camper,” Sibley said.