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Good Question: Why Do We Have To Choose Between Coke, Pepsi?

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The seemingly never-ending battle between Coke and Pepsi bubbled over Thursday when Pepsi signed an exclusive deal with Golden Valley-based Buffalo Wild Wings.

And when we go out to eat, it’s always one or the other.

Like two boxing rivals who can’t be in the same room with each other — you’ll never see Coke and Pepsi in the same restaurant.

“The only place you can have both is if you go to the grocery store,” said Dave Brennan, marketing professor with the University of St. Thomas.

Brennan said Coke and Pepsi prefer to be exclusive in a restaurant, and restaurants prefer to have one brand so they don’t have to stock both.

“Basically you are talking about something that is a longer term,” Brennan said.

While terms of deals like the one Pepsi just signed with Buffalo Wild Wings are often not disclosed, Brennan said Pepsi likely won the bid by offering to sell their product to Wild Wings at a cheaper price. Which in turn, likely saved the restaurant chain millions of dollars over three to five years.

“The idea isn’t just exclusivity, but getting consumers when they are younger,” Brennan said.

Buffalo Wild Wings is popular with younger men — who also drink Mountain Dew and eat Doritos. Two Pepsi products that could soon become a part of the Buffalo Wild Wings menu … in some capacity.

“So the alignment seems to be a little better with Pepsi than it does with Coke as far as this deal goes,” Brennan said.

Brennan said overall, Coke has a slight advantage in number of restaurants that it’s in.

McDonald’s is its biggest customer.

Brennan said you can expect to see Pepsi signs up shortly in Buffalo Wild Wing restaurants, and look for the two to advertise together during the Super Bowl.

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