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What’s going on with the beverage contract?

The Bottled Water Story: On January 31, 2012 the University of Vermont announced that it would become the first public university in the nation to end the sale of bottled water on campus, and mandate healthy options for one-third of the drinks offered in vending machines. Read the article from University Communications here.

Sales of bottled water end January 2013. Because of the complexity in retrofitting water fountains from many eras across our historic campus, the date for ending sales of bottled water has been extended six months beyond the end of the 2002-2012 contract. Bottled water will not be sold through vending, retail, concessions, catering, or residential dining.

Student, faculty and staff opinion: The student message for five years has been about ending sales of bottled water on campus. Faculty concern about what constitutes healthy beverages is also rising, and several fall 2011 events addressed this question.

Ten-year beverage contract ends June 2012: The current contract with Coca-Cola of Northern New England expires June 30, 2012. There will no longer be a corporate sponsorship arrangement, with near-exclusive marketing and "pouring rights." The University put the vending portion, comprising about 20% of total bottled beverage sales, out to bid. Most of the beverages served on campus will continue to be sold through Dining Services in retail, residential dining, catering, and athletics concessions. Now that the ten-year exclusive contract with CCNE is ending, Dining will be able to purchase the beverage mix of their choice through national contracts available through Sodexo, Dining's parent company, with Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other companies.

Non-exclusive beverage vending starts July 2012: On February 1, 2012, a request for proposal was released seeking proposals to provide UVM with beverage vending. UVM received three bid responses as part of this process. The University has chosen Sodexo as the vendor for the beverage vending contract for the next three years. This contract begins on July 1, 2012 and extends through June 30, 2015. The contract is a non-exclusive agreement and Sodexo will offer products from multiple brands. Consistent with the University’s goal to support environmental sustainability this contract will exclude bottled (non-flavored water and non-carbonated) from all vending machines beginning on January 1, 2013. Additionally, in the interest of promoting more healthy choices, at least 33% of the beverage options in vending machines on campus will be healthy choice products.

No filtration needed: The administration has decided to rely on cool, plain, unfiltered tap water to hydrate campus, and to install bottle fillers on at least 75 of the 215 fountains on campus by January 2013. The central administration will not be providing filtration or other dispensing systems; Dining Services and the stores on campus may be interested in providing filtered water and beverage containers, depending on customer interest.

Companies interested in doing business with UVM can contact our Procurement Services. See the "Doing Business with UVM" page for more information. This will allow UVM staff and project managers who are looking to fill defined needs to find interested companies at the time they need that information.

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