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Expiration dates


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Relatively new to vending and have never concerned myself with an expiration date outside of the dairy department. Looking for some general things I should be aware of.

Differences between bottles/cans

Differences in type of soda vs. diet vs. energy

Is soda on sale usually close to expiration?

Any difference in how it is stored, refrigerated, sunlight, etc.

Can consumers really tell?

Any other general advice would be great.


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Welcome to the forum! 


The worst thing the bottlers ever did was to copy the Budweiser "born on date" and put it on sodas.  Prior to that we never worried about expired soda.  You will find that can soda has about a 9 month shelf life, sometimes longer.  Bottled soda has a life of about 6 months for sugared soda and 3 months for diet soda.  The shorter dates are because the plastic bottles will allow the carbonation to permeate the plastic and escape.  At the same time oxygen can permeate into the soda.  This shortens the shelf life and the dates are pretty accurate.  It doesn't matter how the soda is stored, except hot environments will aid the demise of flavor.   Soda being on sale is in no way an indicator of shelf life.  The grocers regularly rotate the bottlers products through their sale schedule to drive customers to their stores.


The customers probably won't taste much difference in the flavor shortly after a product expires, but the longer it goes the worst it will taste, and the customer will let you know, too.


My advice to you is to read vociferously in this forum (how's that for a big word) and learn as much as you can.  There are many threads here from newbies to the business and you can learn from all the advice given previously to them.

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Anything for human consumption is required to have some sort of date or code on it for tracking and safety.

Storage of sodas, in general does not require special care, you can keep them from just about freezing to around 100 degrees. That said extreme temps on either side for extended periods will begin to affect quality. More so in the diet drinks as the artificial sweeteners begin to break down the drink will start turning bitter.

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