Beginning today, vending machines in campus buildings not affiliated with UAB Hospital will switch to Pepsi products provided by Birmingham-based Buffalo Rock Co., and machines in hospital-affiliated buildings will begin serving Coca-Cola products.
Both Buffalo Rock and Birmingham Coca-Cola Bottling Co. are longtime supporters of UAB. Buffalo Rock, which already retains pouring rights for UAB’s sports venues, plans to create custom UAB Athletics-branded fronts for many of the new machines on campus, and commissions from the new vending machines will help fund UAB Athletics programs. Buffalo Rock also plans to offer a UAB-branded water option.
“We are excited about our newest partnership with Buffalo Rock,” said UAB Director of Athletics Mark Ingram. “This new agreement will also allow us to carry our athletics brand across campus and help us build excitement with our tremendous faculty, staff and students.”
A portion of proceeds from new Coke machines in hospital-affiliated buildings will benefit employee and patient programming, something Anthony Paterson, senior vice president of UAB Hospital Inpatient Services, says is another example of the brand’s longtime support for UAB.
“UAB Athletics’ new partnership with Buffalo Rock will allow us to carry our athletics brand across campus and help us build excitement with our tremendous faculty, staff and students.”
“UAB has partnered with Birmingham Coca-Cola Bottling Co. since we opened our doors, and we are looking forward to collaborating on this new venture that supports the UAB Medicine mission,” Patterson said.
More than 225 machines will be affected. The 50-plus UAB buildings that serve Coke products will begin serving Pepsi, and the locations associated with UAB Hospital — UAB Hospital Highlands, Obstetrics Special Care, 1917 Clinic, Boshell Building, General Services Building, Jefferson Tower, Medical Education Building, North Pavilion, Center for Psychiatric Medicine, Quarterback Tower, Russell Ambulatory Center, Spain Rehabilitation, Spain Wallace Tower, Chauncey Sparks Center, West Pavilion, the Women and Infants Center and the UAB Townhouse — that serve Pepsi products will switch to Coca-Cola.
“Before the new year, faculty, staff and students will see a switch,” said Steve Murray, director of Business and Auxiliary Services. “If you see a Coke machine now, it will become a Pepsi machine and vice versa.”
“UAB has partnered with Birmingham Coca-Cola Bottling Co. since we opened our doors, and we are looking forward to collaborating on this new venture that supports the UAB Medicine mission.”
Several retail and dining locations at UAB that serve soft drinks will remain unaffected by the vending changes: Pepsi products are available for purchase in the North Pavilion food court and UAB Hospital gift shops, while Coke products can be found at the UAB Bookstore, the Commons on the Green dining hall and The Den by Denny’s on its second floor, the Campus C-Store in Camp Hall, Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Learning Resource Center, Zime in the Business and Engineering Complex, as well as Full Moon BBQ and Mein Bowl in the Hill Student Center.
As part of the vending changes on campus, micro-marts will be added in the Administration and 801 buildings, and more may be added later as space becomes available. The grab-and-go convenience marts will feature traditional vending options plus sundries, coffee and breakfast and lunch items such as pastries and pre-made salads and sandwiches. Staff will be able to check themselves out using the cutting-edge payment options, including fingerprint-scanning.
“We’re looking forward to providing more options for our employees, offering fresh foods via the micro marts and expanding our selection of healthy vending options,” Murray said.