When it comes to great rivalries, one of the biggest is undoubtedly Boeing vs. Airbus. But, there are many more duopolies in the world, and today we’ll talk about another one of them: Coke vs. Pepsi – and how Jetblue will be making the switch. According to an internal JetBlue communication obtained by USA TODAY, the airline will switch from Coca-Cola beverages to Pepsi starting on June 3rd.
The last big aviation-beverage news story was when a woman on a TAP Portugal flight had a meltdown when she discovered her flight had run out of Pepsi. A few months before that, Delta took a little heat for their Coke-sponsored flirtatious/creepy napkins. Thankfully, this news is nowhere near as scandalous (for most of us…). The internal communication that was obtained from Jetblue reads:
“We’re refreshing our Core complimentary beverage lineup to offer customers exciting new product options they’ve asked for, while also bringing sustainability benefits, and controlling growing costs…Most notably, this includes the introduction of Pepsi products to our offering beginning June 3.”
In addition to the above text, the document also apparently displayed images of Pepsi and Canada Dry products. How exciting! …Or horrendous!? It really depends on which camp you’re in…
Speaking of taking sides, Twitter was obviously all abuzz upon hearing the news. Here is just a small sampling of public reactions…
I prefer Pepsi tbh and very happy about this. Thanks JetBlue
— Charlie Shrem (@CharlieShrem) May 17, 2019
@JetBlue Say it ain’t so, Pepsi? Blech! We want Coke! Hope this isn’t a long term contract, you’ll see Coke fans are in the majority.
— Alan Rubin (@AlanRubin57) May 17, 2019
just found out that @JetBlue is switching from coke to pepsi products and honestly, i’m devastated. 😭
— hannah (@haha_hannahh) May 16, 2019
A never-ending feud
The battle between the two beverage behemoths started in 1898 when Pepsi was founded and became a rival to Coke, which began 13 years earlier. Since then, the two brands have been fighting for market share with their dozens of beverage products all over the world. The battlefield ranges from high school vending machines to major sports leagues and, of course, airlines.
But according to a January article written by The Points Guy, the reason you rarely see Pepsi being served on a plane isn’t because of taste preferences. Rather, it is probably because deals are made to sell products at a lower price. And so “if Coke is dominant, it’s probably because the company is underbidding Pepsi”.
“[Airlines] have agreements with vendors, depending on which contract is more conducive..This is how airlines are making decisions, solely based on dollars and cents,” -Bijan Vasigh, Professor of air-transport finance, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
In conclusion, despite the outpouring (no pun intended) of grief/shock/anger by some Twitter users, no one will die from this business decision. Do you have a preference when you board a plane or is it something you don’t even think about? Could you see yourself sipping some Pepsi on a Jetblue flight from New York to Ecuador? Let us know in the comments!