News Brief: GW pulls Red Bull from shelves

GW accidentally violated its exclusive beverage contract with Coca-Cola for almost a year before Essentials Market in Mitchell Hall stopped selling Red Bull energy drink last month.

Assistant Director of Auxiliary Services Lyle Vaughan said he was unaware of the contract breach, and that an employee without the authority to make sales decisions must have ordered the energy drink.

Red Bull began selling to GW last fall and has enjoyed success, selling as many as 15 cases in one week in Essentials, sales representative Eric Cheeks said.

Cheeks said he sold Red Bull at GW because a Mitchell Hall employee who said she had received several requests for the drink approached him.

“She said no one wanted to walk down the street or around the block,” Cheeks said. “Students wanted to come downstairs and get some Red Bull.”

Cheeks could not name the employee.

He said Essentials now stocks Coke’s rival to Red Bull, KMX, because of a contract University signed with the soft drink company in summer 2000.

“I am sure that nine out of 10 students on this campus would prefer Red Bull over other energy drinks,” Cheeks said. “Coke flexed their muscles with their contract, and now Red Bull can’t be sold there anymore.”

Vaughan said non-Coke products can be stocked only in places such as Provisions Market and Provisions Market Too that sell groceries and do not serve food to students. Mitchell is one of the locations that exclusively sells products in the Coke family, he said.

“People order things and are not aware of the strict criteria,” Vaughan said. “The person who brought the drink to Mitchell did not have the authority to do so, but of course people do things, and it catches up with them.”

Vaughan said someone probably approached the employee and told them that selling Red Bull was not allowed under contract.

“If something is competing with Coke and breaching the contract, we will remove it to be a good business partner,” Vaughan said.
-Trevor Martin

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