Hey, I'm a Diet Coke guy myself, but business is business, you know?
Several [Council] members are in a fizz after learning that the Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Houston soon will take over exclusive rights to vending machines at City Hall. That means staples like Coca-Cola and Pepsi will be scarce.
"I love Dr Pepper," said Councilwoman Anne Clutterbuck, who attended Baylor University in Waco, birthplace of the sweet, syrupy pop. "But I'm a Diet Coke gal, now."
The council two years ago approved a five-year deal with Dr Pepper to supply its various soft drinks to 320 vending machines in 150 city buildings. The company gradually has been taking over service to various departments, including parks, fire, airports and health.
City officials who crafted the deal, which already has brought $700,000 in revenue, say it helps the city because Dr Pepper has agreed to return 45 percent of the proceeds -- much more than Coca-Cola and Pepsi -- in exchange for exclusivity.
"It's a tripling of revenue," said Tina Paez, a deputy director in the city's Finance and Administration Department.