Caffeine sold on campus minimally affects local soda businesses

Bryan Pearson
A Swig employee adds flavor to a customer’s drink. BYU students are still coming to Swig since BYU began selling caffeinated sodas on campus. (Bryan Pearson)

Sodalicious, Swig and the Caffeine Corner don’t expect BYU selling caffeine on campus to have much of an effect on their businesses.

“We have gotten a little bit busier actually … we haven’t seen a decrease in sales at all and I don’t anticipate that we will,” said Swig co-owner Nicole Tanner.

The Swig location closest to BYU is across the street from Helaman Halls.

“I don’t think (caffeine on campus) is going to deter people from walking across the street to get their Swig,” Tanner said.

Sodalicious CEO Kevin Auernig said sales have not been affected. In fact, Auernig said Sodalicious sales have been up in the past few weeks.

Wesley Monahan is the owner of Caffeine Corner, a soda delivery business that delivers soda on the BYU campus. He started the business about six months before BYU began selling caffeine on campus.

Monahan said sales weren’t affected for the first few days after the announcement, but after a few days, sales went down.

“People just kind of figured that we fizzled out or went out of business because of BYU’s decision because we were so closely related to BYU campus,” Monahan said.

The Caffeine Corner did a promotion a few days ago delivering $1 sodas to the Wilkinson Student Center that helped its sales to go back up.

Monahan said BYU still doesn’t offer most of the products sold at Caffeine Corner. The most popular drink is Dr. Pepper, and the business also sells energy drinks and Mountain Dew.

Caffeine Corner plans to continue selling beverages around campus and is working on a commercial and increasing marketing, which were planned before the change.

Monahan said Caffeine Corner might expand to selling snacks as soon as there is time to do some testing.

BYU students Lexie Urbanawiz and Shalese Westover said they have not stopped going to Sodalicious or other soda businesses since the caffeine announcement. They said they go to Sodalicious every couple of weeks for the specialty drinks and cookies.

Maddi Dayton
Two BYU students enjoy drinks from Sodalicious. Students are still going to Sodalicious even though caffeine is available on campus. (Maddi Dayton)

“(Caffeine on campus) doesn’t affect how much I come here because usually I’ll want a cookie and a soda,” Urbanawiz said. “It’s not just the soda.”

Urbanawiz, like many other BYU students, is a “Dr Pepper person.” She said she is disappointed BYU is not currently selling Dr Pepper. Although Urbanawiz has bought caffeinated soda on campus, she said she still goes to Sodalicious as often as she did before.

Tanner said she is grateful BYU has started offering caffeine on campus so she can enjoy a caffeinated beverage at BYU sports games.

Auernig said in an email that he thinks the BYU administration “was smart to finally recognize that there is a demand for caffeinated drinks on campus.”

Although Monahan was disappointed the change was made so quickly after he started the Caffeine Corner business, part of the reason he started the business was as a movement to show that there was a demand for caffeine.

“I know that we were definitely a catalyst in the decision,” Monahan said. “It feels good to be part of that movement that made history.”

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