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Carnival is switching from Coca-Cola to PepsiCo products

Christine Duffy and Anne Fink.jpg
Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, left, toasts the new beverage choices with Anne Fink, president of PepsiCo Global Foodservice
In a major supplier shakeup, Carnival Cruise Line has selected PepsiCo as its preferred beverage partner, replacing the Coca-Cola Co.

Starting in January, Carnival will begin serving a variety of beverages from the PepsiCo portfolio, featuring brands from Starbucks ready-to-drink coffee to fast-growing bubly sparkling water. When the transition is complete, passengers will have a broad selection, from iced tea, sparkling water, coffee drinks and sports drinks to juices and soft drinks, including low calorie and no sugar options.

‘A big change’

Soda brand loyalty can be fierce.

‘It’s a big change going from Coke to Pepsi,’ acknowledged Edward Allen, VP of beverage operations for Carnival. ‘The main reason is the sheer volume of offerings Pepsi has. We traditionally looked at carbonated beverages. Pepsi has those and more, like Starbucks ready-to-drink coffee.

Guests want more choice

‘We’re always looking at trends, on the ships and across the US,’ Allen continued. ‘Our guests want more choice.’ He added that Carnival’s ‘many loyal guests give us feedback all the time.’

With the switch to PepsiCo, Fun Ship cruisers can choose leading brands in growing non-soda categories like iced tea, juice and sparkling water, as well as popular soft drinks. These include bubly, Pure Leaf, Naked Juice, Gatorade, MTN Dew, Starbucks, Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Sierra Mist and Sierra Mist Zero Sugar, among others.

In the current Coca-Cola partnership, beverages offered include Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Sprite, Diet Sprite, Pibb Xtra, Barq’s Root Beer and Barq’s Diet Root Beer.

Bar staff can get creative

Allen said he’s excited about the change since many PepsiCo products can be mixed into cocktails. ‘Their huge portfoiio will allow my team to get more creative. Something like MTN Dew, our guests love, and the citrus-melon qualities of MTN Dew can blend with ingredients like elderflower and rum.’

And for anyone who isn’t happy with the switch?

‘Our passengers can still bring 12 12-ounce cans of their favorite beverage on board. Currenly many people are bringing Pepsi. I’m sure plenty of people will be bringing on Coke,’ Allen said.

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