Buffalo Wild Wings Dumps Coke for Pepsi
NEW YORK (AP) — Buffalo Wild Wings says it's switching from Coke to Pepsi, noting that it also plans to tap into PepsiCo snacks such as Doritos to create new menu offerings.
The Minneapolis-based chain, which more than 975 locations in the U.S., said the switch will take place starting in the new year.
PepsiCo has been working to extend its snacks business through partnerships with restaurant chains. Last year, the company famously teamed up with Taco Bell to create Dorito-flavored taco shells that have since helped the fast-food chain boost its sales.
PepsiCo's Mountain Dew drinks may also be a good fit for Buffalo Wild Wings, which provides customers with TV screens to watch sporting events.
It's not the first time a restaurant change has switched alliances on the beverage front. California Pizza Kitchen, for example, recently said it was switching from Pepsi to Coke.
"This is a good win by Pepsi but the fountain biz is highly competitive and accounts swing back and forth" when they open up, said John Sicher, publisher of Beverage Digest.
Overall, Coca-Cola Co. still has about 70 percent of the fountain business in the U.S., according to Beverage Digest. Its clients include McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's.
PepsiCo Inc., meanwhile, has KFC and Pizza Hut, in addition to Taco Bell. All three fast-food chains are owned by Yum Brands Inc., which was spun off PepsiCo in 1997.