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Competing With Pepsi In A High School?


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I just recently purchased a good location from another vendor who just retired out of the business.

It's a charter high school and I heard they have around 300 students.

Anyways, the snack machine does really good at around $120/week but the drink only does around $70/week.

The problem is Pepsi sells 20 oz bottles at $1 including Gatorade bottles.

They got a separate machine just for soda and one just for Gatorade.

I sell cans for .75 and 20 oz bottles for $1 in order to stay competitive with Pepsi.

There is also another snack machine there (which apparently just got in there recently) and a healthy vending machine.

The one edge I have over the other machines is that my machines are in the main hallway where all the kids pass by and all the other machines are in their lounge/cafeteria area.


Anyways, what would you guys do in my situation?

I am not allowed to sell Pepsi products even though the previous vendor was selling Gatorade and I still am as well since I took over.

No one has said anything about the Gatorade.

They just recently let the vendor before me sell coke products.

I feel like I should change over everything to 16 oz bottles and make them $1 as there is not much profit with the 20 oz bottles at $1.

The only 20 oz bottles I provide now are Minute Maid Lemonade and Minute Maid Fruit Punch.

The guy before me said originally his 2 machines were the only ones at the high school and he was doing more like $1800/month.

I am at $800/month.

I feel like vendors are just being let in and that is annoying.

I just got the account so I want to build some relationship and perhaps upgrade their machines.

I have a 721 Vmax and a USI with Ivend but I think a glassfront and a newer Ivend both with credit card readers would help increase sales.






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Under this circumstance, i'd offer a 10% commission on soda to get sole rights, then promise to expand varieties between coke, pepsi, and 7up flavors.  If you could, sell 16.9 oz soda for $1.00.

In most regions i know of, you can't sell 20 oz coke or pepsi for $1.00.  That's about how much i pay for the bottle wholesale.

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School accounts can be big, kids have no brakes on their spending, and the private school obviously is not restricted by the federal school food rules.  However, having 3 different vending companies at one location is not something I would want to play.  You guys are just cutting each others profits to be competitive.  If you could beat out Pepsi that would be nice, but I am willing to bet they are paying a lot more in commissions or fees than you could offer.  Good luck.

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Chris I make around .25 per bottle if I'm selling it for $1.

Yeah I know it's not much and that's why I was thinking about selling 16.9 oz bottles for $1. 

Speaking of commission, the vendor before me said that Pepsi gives a certain amount of money to the athletic department.

I was surprised to hear this because I have never heard of bottlers doing this type of thing.


I do worry a little that I can get kicked out, but I probably provide the best service out of all the other vendors.

Like I am the only one that provides them pastries and I have come to find out that they will eat around 40 pastries in just 1 week alone.

Even today I drove for 40 minutes from my house because their favorite Gatorade Cool Blue was out and also to put in more pastries.


Southeast Treats, I thought because their kids, they might not have as much money to spend but I guess you're saying they can spend a lot.

I have noticed some interesting prices with having so many vendors.

Drinks are obviously competitive.

Snacks are not so bad, but I did notice the other snack machine is selling crackers and peanuts for only .50 when I sell them for .65.

It's also a piece of crap old lance machine and every time I look at it I get mad haha.


By the way, I also do snacks for them at their middle school and elementary school. 

Pepsi is there too.

They are small teacher lounges and are very crappy locations.

The fact that I service them should allow me to be their only vendor for the high school haha.

Maybe something I can pitch to them when I eventually make a proposal to them.



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10 hours ago, arkhusker said:

Is this in the US? Because it doesn't sound like they are following the USDA school regs.

He mentioned earlier that it was a private school.  No Fed money, no Fed regulations.  Only public schools are obligated to follow the federal regulations and that is only to continue receiving Fed money.  Private schools and charter schools are a whole different beast.

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Yes, teacher lounges are notorious everywhere for being bad locations.  I serve a few of them on a "when I can get there" basis.   And yes, Pepsi and Coke both go thru big cycles of buying their way into schools, they want to get their product imprinted on the young skulls full of mush.  Not so much in the public schools anymore, as the feds have clamped down on selling anything the kids like!  But student vending usually does well, if a kid leaves the house will a dollar in his pocket, he will not be happy until he buys something - anything - with it.  Good luck in getting the other guy out, maybe you could buy him out as well if the school does not want to make a decision....

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