Subway Switches From Coke To Pepsi

The sandwich chain has chosen a new beverage partner as part of a 10-year deal.

Subway has just reignited the Cola Wars by announcing that it will be switching over from carrying Coca-Cola products to PepsiCo products beginning in 2025. The sandwich giant just signed a 10-year deal with PepsiCo to be its beverage provider in the U.S. and has extended its contract with Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, as its snack supplier into 2030.

PepsiCo already provides beverages for Subway in other countries, including Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and others. The switch now places all of Subway's snack and beverage needs under the PepsiCo name. Beginning in 2025, and rolling out over several months, U.S. Subway restaurants will offer Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar, MTN DEW, Starry, Tropicana, Lipton, Aquafina, and Gatorade. Plus, franchisees will have the option to offer a larger selection of Gatorade beverages.

What it takes to change from Coke to Pepsi

The switch from Coke to Pepsi products might seem pretty minor at first glance, but there's potential for it to greatly increase or decrease Subway's sales. The Coca-Cola Company's lineup of soft drinks includes brands such as Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Minute Maid lemonade, Schweppes, and others. Considering the immense fandom surrounding Diet Coke, there's a possibility future Subway customers will be disappointed that they can't get their favorite beverage with their footlong.

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"It is a win-win for everyone, as it brings a delicious suite of beverage and snack choices to our guests, driving additional consideration of these menu items, while also providing cost-effective, streamlined solutions to our franchisees," said Doug Fry, president of Subway North America, in the announcement.

Whether this change is in fact "cost-effective" and a benefit to franchisees will remain to be seen until 2025. Subway has implemented a number of changes in recent years that have not gone over well with franchisees, including dangerous protocols for toasted sandwichesfresh meat slicers that complicate operations, and the requirement to honor digital promotions that actually cost the restaurant businesses more money than it brings in.

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Changing teams in the Cola Wars is not a common occurrence, either. Restaurant Business reports that the last time one of the country's 20 largest restaurant chains switched between these two beverage providers was in 2018, when Arby's made the opposite move by going from Pepsi to Coke products. In 2023, Culver's, an increasingly popular Midwest burger chain, also made the switch from Pepsi to Coke.

"Together, we're elevating the consumer experience with dynamic beverage and snack offerings — including those that appeal to a broad spectrum of consumers," Anne Fink, president of PepsiCo Global Foodservice, said in the announcement.

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