No Coke, Pepsi!

November 8th, 2009 · 32 Comments

I was recently tipped off that Costco’s relationship with Coke is stormy, to say the least.  How bad is it?  So bad that Costco has decided that they’d rather not continue selling Coca-Cola products (soda, water, juice, anything) unless they can get better pricing for their customers.  That means you and me.

Coke may soon be a thing of the past at Costco

Coke may soon be a thing of the past at Costco

That’s right, Costco could soon have a wider selection of Pepsi products but no Coke products.  The people at my Costco tell me that while the supply might get a little thin in the stores, they expect to still be able to work things out with Coke eventually.  After all, Costco is the third largest retailer in the US, so it doesn’t seem like it would be wise for Coke to pass up the opportunity to keep selling their products in all of the Costco stores.  Supposedly, something like this also happened about 10 years ago, and they made up eventually or else there wouldn’t be any Coke in the stores right now.

So, you’re probably wondering what the story is behind Costco’s falling out with Coke.  It’s all about the customers, according to the people at my Costco.  For a long time now, Coke has been offering other retailers, chief amongst them is of course Walmart/Sam’s, better pricing and more notice regarding special sales and such.  So, it isn’t that Costco wants to have Coke sell them their soda and other products at some greatly reduced rate that is far below that of other retailers, they just want the same types of pricing so that they can continue to be competitive against other retailers.  Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed it but at Costco the cases of Coke are much more expensive than the cases of Pepsi; a difference of somewhere around $0.07 per can, which is almost 30% more.  That certainly adds up when you’re talking about 32 or 36 cans.

As of today, there’s still plenty of Coke and all of their other soda varieties available at the Austin store that I shop at.   Also, I’ve heard that the issues with Coke in the warehouse does not necessarily impact the sale of Coke in the vending machines or the Food Court.

[If you're wondering what's up with the title of my post, it's from a Saturday Night Live skit featuring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd from the 70s, which in turn is allegedly based on a place in Chicago called Billy Goat Tavern.  Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger!  No Coke, Pepsi!]

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32 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Jim Sinegal is Morningstar’s CEO of the Year for 2011 | Addicted To Costco! // 2012.01.19 at 6:55 am

    [...] on all of the high points too.  They mention one of my favourite Costco episodes – when they rebelled against Coca-Cola and said ‘we either get fair pricing or we’ll stop selling your products’.  I [...]

  2. 2 Gene // 2011.04.05 at 6:30 pm

    Coke made in Mexico finally arrived in SoCal Costco sometime last year and I am a big fan. They also now have Mexican Pepsi but tried that and it wasn’t that great.

  3. 3 Brian // 2011.01.18 at 10:19 am

    We went home to B.C. for Christmas and hit Costco a couple of times. Mostly for their fries and gravy in the food court. That has been a huge tradition for us. When our kids were young, and before we moved to California to start a business venture, we pretty much hit Costco for an early lunch every Sunday after Church. Needless to say, when I went up to the food court to order, I noticed that they had Coke products. Way to go Costco Canada for not switching to Pepsi.

  4. 4 Costco Playing Hardball with Apple Over iPad Snub? | Addicted To Costco! // 2010.10.19 at 6:07 am

    [...] is reminiscent of the situation with Coke and Costco in 2009, when Costco decided to stop selling Coca-Cola until they got the same pricing as other retailers. [...]

  5. 5 BJ // 2010.07.10 at 6:32 pm

    I am very disappoint not having Diet Coke which go better with the hotdog. I want the coke or will not renewed my membership. Also, will start looking into Sam Club. I am a Coke person and wished to have a diet coke with my hotdog, pizza, or chicken salad. Maybe the problem is withing Kirkland? Very Disappoint!!!!!

  6. 6 kirkland // 2010.07.09 at 7:50 am

    What happened to the kirkland colas, and kirkland frappucinos?

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