Blimpie Swaps Coke for Pepsi
Atlanta-based Blimpie International is dropping Coca-Cola from its 1,900 sandwich outlets in favor of Pepsi. Coca-Cola had supplied Blimpie for the past 38 years, since the chain opened in 1964. According to Blimpie president Jeff Endervelt, Pepsi is more aggressive, market-wise, and offered a better deal. Coca-Cola
sought a temporary restraining order to prevent the switch. A Fulton County judge would not stop the change, which is under way. Coke plans to seek arbitration under its contract with Blimpie.
Moderator Comment: Is Coke losing its edge in fountain? Is Gatorade losing its position as the leader of the sports drink segment?
Coke obviously has taken a public relations hit losing an account the size of Blimpie in its own backyard. That said, recent numbers show that Coke still holds about a 60 percent share of the fountain business.
On the bottled side of the business, Gatorade has lost a couple of share points to Powerade. The Pepsi brand still remains the leader of that category, however. [George
Anderson – Moderator]