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updated: 12/19/2017 4:54 PM

No Coke, just Pepsi, at Stevenson High for at least five more years

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  • A Stevenson High School student makes a purchase at one of the Lincolnshire school's PepsiCo machines. The school has an exclusive deal with the beverage giant.

    A Stevenson High School student makes a purchase at one of the Lincolnshire school's PepsiCo machines. The school has an exclusive deal with the beverage giant.
    Courtesy of Stevenson High School

 
 

Soda machines at Lincolnshire's Stevenson High School will remain exclusively stocked with PepsiCo products for at least five more years, thanks to a newly renewed contract with the beverage giant.

The pact, approved by the District 125 board Monday night, also covers drinks sold at the school's snack bars and at athletic events or other activities.

Stevenson's 4,190 students and roughly 550 staffers are free to bring drinks made by Coca-Cola or other companies to school in their lunch bags or backpacks.

"Certainly on a campus where there are nearly 5,000 people every school day, there will be some who favor one brand over another," Stevenson spokesman Jim Conrey said. "For those who prefer Coke products, they have ample opportunities to find them outside of school."

The deal is expected to add about $400,000 to Stevenson's student activities fund during the next five years. The money will help fund after-school clubs and other programs, Conrey said.

According to Stevenson documents, the PepsiCo payoff will include:

• A $50,000 annual sponsorship payment.

• A 30 percent sales commission that could amount to more than $10,000 annually.

• A $1-per-case rebate on each case of bottles purchased, which could total $17,000 annually.

• Unspecified "free goods" worth an estimated $500 annually.

Stevenson has received approximately $350,000 in revenue from the current PepsiCo contract, which was inked in 2012 and is due to expire Dec. 31.

That's less than the $505,519 officials predicted the deal would generate for Stevenson. Conrey said he doesn't know if anyone has analyzed why the revenue came in lower than anticipated.

Five years ago, PepsiCo won the contract over a bid from Coca-Cola. This time, PepsiCo was the only bidder.

Coca-Cola had exclusive beverage rights at Stevenson from 2008 to 2012. Before that, PepsiCo had the contract for 20 years.

The contract applies only to beverages, not food or packaged snacks.

And it's not just a matter of Pepsi vs. Coke. PepsiCo's machines at Stevenson offer bottles of colas and other sodas, as well as iced tea, water and other types of drinks.

"They have so many varieties of drinks (for) our students," Stevenson board member Bruce Lubin said.

Exclusive beverage deals are common at suburban schools.

Libertyville High and its sister school Vernon Hills High have contracts with Coca-Cola, as do Mundelein High and Naperville Unit District 203, which includes Naperville North and Naperville Central high schools.

Wauconda High has a five-year pact with PepsiCo. that began this school year.