Snapple, owned by Cadbury Schweppes, has been awarded the exclusive 5 year contract to supply New York City's schools with beverages, beating competition from Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. It is to develop a new range of 100% juice drinks in Green Apple, Orange Mango, Grape and Fruit Punch flavours, enriched with vitamins and calcium, but will also sell bottled water. All the drinks will sell at $1 each. Snapple will also invest at least $3million a year in sponsoring sporting equipment and playgrounds and materials encouraging a healthy diet and physical activity. Cadbury Schweppes' press release says that such vending machines will only be provided with the consent of the individual schools involved but the New York City press release says that the intention is to allow the NYC Department of Education to centrally manage vending needs.

Snapple has also been awarded a separate contract to vend iced-tea, chocolate drinks and water at city-controlled properties, in return for which Snapple will give New York City $66million and "an annual marketing commitment for use of city-owned media (outdoor, television, online) city-run promotions, the sponsorship of events and concerts" etc. Snapple and New York City will also work together to promote the link between New York and Snapple -- attracting tourists and benefiting Snapple at the same time.

The IPKat as a rule favours competition and thus is somewhat perturbed. He is uneasy about the idea of eliminating competition where there is a captive market such as school children. A lot will depend on the way in which the $3million pound investment in sporting facilities and equipment is spent --“ the IPKat would be disturbed if the sponsorship scheme was just a way of marketing Snapple to school children e.g. if the healthy diet education took the form of "drink Snapple for all your nutritional needs" and if the sports equipment provided prominently bears the indicia of the Snapple brand. While this solution is preferable to giving the contract to a fizzy-drinks manufacturer (although of course, Snapple's parent company is Cadbury Schweppes of chocolate and drinks fame), it seems just a little strange that the contract has been awarded to a company that does not currently produce pure juice products. The IPKat also hopes that the fact that Snapple has a contract to provide water will not lead to schools limiting the availability of fresh water.

Read the Cadbury Schweppes and New York City press releases here
Meanwhile, the good people of Snappleton are oblivious to the controversy
Why fruit juice is bad for children here
Why fruit juice isn't bad for children here
Fun things to do with Snapple here
Make your own Snapple-alike with this recipe

THE BIG SNAPPLE? THE BIG SNAPPLE? Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, September 11, 2003 Rating: 5

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