JetBlue Drops Coke In Favor Of Pepsi

Filed Under: JetBlue

JetBlue is making some changes to their inflight catering that might make some people pretty angry.

The topic of Coke vs. Pepsi can be pretty divisive. There are those who prefer Coke products, and those who have bad taste (I’m kidding… I’m kidding… but not really). 😉

As noted by Wandering Aramean, JetBlue will be making the switch from Coke products to Pepsi products as of June 3, 2019.

With this change, JetBlue’s onboard soft drink selection will include Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Sierra Mist Zero Sugar, Bubbly Lime Sparkling Water, Canada Dry Seltzer, Canada Dry Tonic, and Canada Dry Ginger Ale. JetBlue will continue to serve Dunkin coffee, and offer Mr. & Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary mix.

As part of this, JetBlue will also be switching from single serve bottles of water, to instead pouring water out of 1.5L bottles.

As JetBlue describes it, this change is bringing customers “exciting new product options they’ve asked for, while also fitting more offerings on to our carts, brining sustainable benefits and controlling growing costs.”

While there’s of course a convenience factor to having individual bottles of water on a plane (due to turbulence, so you can store them, etc.), there’s no denying that it’s hugely wasteful. So I’m a fan of this change purely from the reduced waste it will lead to.

Nowadays a vast majority of airlines offer Coke products, so I imagine Pepsi is giving JetBlue a deal they can’t refuse here, or else we likely wouldn’t see the switch. I’ll be curious to see if other airlines follow.

I also wonder what the passenger response will be like. Like I said, Coke vs. Pepsi is a really divisive topic. While some prefer Pepsi, a lot more people prefer Coke. Maybe it’s just branding, but people order a “Jack & Coke,” and not a “Jack & Pepsi.”

I imagine this will make things more complicated for flight attendants (at least in the short term), as they’ll constantly have to ask “is Pepsi okay?”

What do you make of JetBlue’s switch from Coke to Pepsi?

Comments
  1. THANK GOODNESS!!! I don’t drink soda very much but Pepsi taste so much better than Coke.

    I don’t know why it has to be either/or, why can’t it be both/and? Why not serve both and give people a choice?There are so many places like Delta, Subway, etc. where you cannot get a Pepsi.

  2. @Dan,

    I was just thinking the same thing about finding Coke at DFW… I think McD’s is the only place at the airport that sells Coke. I might be jaded by having spent most of my life in Atlanta, but Pepsi ranks only above drinking your own urine out of a snake skin during a Bear Grylls show.

  3. Coke is purely fake sugar, Pepsi at least have some flavors whatever it tastes like.

    I believe AA is Dr Pepper/Seven up products since it’s Texas based company, neither Coca Cola nor Pepsi.

  4. I feel bad for the JetBlue FAs who will have to remind Coke drinkers they only offer Pepsi nowadays.

  5. I legitimately can’t tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. In fact, when I use the word “coke”, I just mean any cola drink.

  6. The tragedy here is the message conveyed by flight attendants. The change will likely not be limited to individual passenger talk but announcements on the PA. How do you enthusiastically tell a cabin of passengers to get excited about this great change….we don’t have Coke.

  7. @Zortan 7-up is a product of “DrPepper/SevenUp Company”, not Pepsi, distributed by Pepsi doesn’t mean Pepsi owns it. You never wonder why Coke fountain has Dr Pepper while Coca Cola doesn’t own it?

  8. I remember once on an Emirates flight (in Y) and they just kept giving me the small bottles of rum and coke alongside (almost forced them on me..lol!) one after another. This experience would simply never have been the same if it were Pepsi….

  9. I don’t drink much soda, and when I do it’s rarely cola, but I’m glad an airline is finally standing up against the nastiness that is Coke. One sip and I feel like I need to go straight to the dentist to get the gross syrup off my teeth.

    Canada Dry is also better than Seagrams for ginger ale and tonic.

  10. You’re telling me I could have been served coke at my seat and not have to go to the lavato-

    Oh, uhm, Pepsi is not okay! How else will I mix my drinks properly?

  11. If you’re a liberal and went to college, you should prefer Pepsi and you probably know why. But you should also not be drinking that much sweetened soda anyway because Big Soda is the new Big Tobacco.

  12. @Ray:

    That’s poppycock! I’m a bleeding heart liberal with a graduate degree and you’ll never see a Pepsi product in my fridge. Pepsi feels like it coats my teeth and gums in some sort of sugary film. Plus, I refuse to let morals (or whatever else it is you’re referring to) determine my caramel-colored, HFCS-sweetened fizzy lifting drink of choice. I do, however, prefer Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke…but not over Coke Zero. I’m a complicated person, apparently.

  13. I prefer Pepsi, so I am not mad. Not sure those plastic cups are much less wasteful than bottles

  14. Objectively, the difference between Coke and Pepsi is that Pepsi is sweeter. Coke has slightly more sodium which dulls the sweet taste a bit while Pepsi has a bit more sugar and caffeine. But it’s a small difference, people’s cola preferences are much more emotion driven than taste driven 🙂

  15. What do you mean “is Pepsi okay”?!?!

    Didn’t you learn anything from the super bowl ad…

  16. Finally a airline serving Pepsi. What a bias report downplaying Pepsi drinkers! But where is Mountain Dew! Hope to see more airlines follow.

  17. I don’t really care either way. I just feel bad for the FAs who will have to deal with an endless stream of flyers complaining that they don’t want Pepsi, they want Coke.

  18. Ultimately it’s a personal thing and each person knows what they offer. I don’t drink full sugar carbonated drinks but my diet cola ranking is Pepsi Max, diet Coke, diet pepsi then Coke zero.
    There is no right or wrong option just what you personally prefer.

  19. BA tried to change a couple of years ago to Pepsi and changed back after a couple of months. I am sure I wasn’t the only person who complained regularly about the lack of coke either in the lounge or on flights

  20. Not a big deal to me, as I rarely drink either. Or any sugared carbonated beverages for that matter. But it obviously is for a lot of people. For those asking why not both, its contractual. Pepsi and Coke require an all or nothing. And they both pay major retailers for preferential placement at retailers. So when you go to the grocery store, Target, Walmart etc, and suddenly their placement in the drinks aisle has changed, its because one of them paid for that.

  21. United tried this previously and failed miserably… then had to beg Coke to give them back the former contract pricing they had.

  22. Good, Pepsi is better. I feel that coke is only hanging around due to nostalgia, kind of like Tim Hortons.

  23. There are three main soft drink companies: Coca Cola, PepsiCo, and Keurig Dr Pepper. What can be confusing about which brand belongs where is that local bottlers or chain restaurants can often stock brands from other companies.

    Here in Texas, whether you have Coke or Pepsi, you still need to sell Dr Pepper. American stocks Coke and Dr Pepper. At one time, Pepsi too but I’m not sure it’s still there (my Mother taught me only low class people drank that stuff to wash down their Miracle Whip sandwiches).

  24. I am upset about the switch to the larger water bottles. It was nice to have a bottle of water to take a medicine or save for later in the flight. I am excited about the bubbly lime sparkling water. Overall JetBlue’s CEO has been making negative changes to the cabin experience, like bringing in carts. I am a mosaic member. I will be very excited for the a220 to replace the POS embraers

  25. Check the label ingredients for Coke and Pepsi. Pepsi appears to have the more harmful chemicals and for that reason, we always choose Coca-Cola!

  26. This move makes sense. Pepsi has more control over their bottling side of the business and hence has more authority over pricing/deals. The decision making process for b2b is more centralized at Pepsi.
    Coca Cola Company does not actually bottle the product itself. It in turn produces the syrup and sells it to independent bottler, that bottler produces the product and sells it to a business. The supply chain is more complex at coke( increasing costs, and lack of centralized decision making process when it comes to corporate contracts makes coke less attractive. While pricing isn’t everything it is something. Remember price is not what we pay but it is the value.

  27. And where are the crazy people who says “I will not fly JetBlue again unless they serve Coca Cola”

  28. @J
    Why on earth are you excited for A220? JetBlue’s 100-seat E190s are the most comfortable seat in domestic in USA and small enough it boards & unloads much faster than the coming A220. Most importantly, NO middle seats!

    As for this soft drink switch (& reduction), as a Mosaic I’m more pissed about the rollout than the change itself. They didn’t bother to ask for feedback or allow us to make requests. Pepsi makes a Coke Zero knockoff called Pepsi Max. It’s not as good, but at least having the similar product is something. I will honestly start looking at other airlines for red eye flights now. Very disappointing JetBlue!

  29. I know to many people, this change may seem silly. But to me it’s sort of like you expect a copy of The Holy Bible to be in your hotel room and then chain decides to replace all of them with copies of Koran. (I am not commenting on Marriott’s inclusion of the Book of Mormon, I am commenting on exclusivity.) People are passionate about their soda as some people are passionate about religion.

    It’s interesting that Canada Dry products are offered. Canada Dry is owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper. So it’s not an exclusive Pepsi contract. Canada Dry rocks!

    LET ME BE CLEAR:
    On the question: “Is Pepsi OK?” No, it isn’t. And that’s a hell no. Pepsi is not only never OK, it’s never acceptable.

    Sincerely,

    Mexican Coca-Cola FOREVER (American Coca-Cola acceptable. Sorry, Iowa corn syrup is NOT cane sugar. There IS a difference.)
    Diet Coke
    Canada Dry

  30. AA is kinda mixed. They offer Dr Pepper family, Coke (no other Coca Cola products), and some Pepsi products.

    Many times I saw foreigners asking for Sprite but got Mist.

    They always wonder if FA made mistakes. Nope, AA don’t offer Coke family, only Coke. You get Mist and that’s Sprite’s substitute.

  31. I only drink Pepsi if I have no choice. I always prefer coke. There is a reason Jetblue is switching to Pepsi and that is because of cost. Them being able to extract a better deal just like Marriott means companies are willing to pay more for coke because it is more popular.

    I don’t see how there will be that much less waste from serving from a big bottle into plastic cups. Norwegian Air Shuttle premium did this and I was lucky I brought my own Evian bottle as I had expected a bottle at my seat. The flight attendant (all young and nice looking men and women) thankfully filled my Evian bottle with water.

    I never feel comfortable with open drinks. In business class it is easy to put a drink on the table area but it is still a plane and can still spill. Economy is even worse because the tray tables are not steady and it is easy to knock over drinks.

    The whole water bottle pollution issue is not real. Plastic finding its way into the ocean especially beaches and waste dumps into the beaches is the issue. As long as the plastic bottles are being collected by the airline it will not end up in the ocean.

  32. I support airlines acting in ways that are less wasteful for the environment. However, I am skeptical that water served from a small bottle is more wasteful than using a large plastic bottle plus a plastic cup.

  33. Coke v Pepsi is like the New Zealand Marmite (quite different from the English brew) vs Australian Vegemite argument. You CAN taste the difference.

    I don’t like Pepsi and shouldn’t drink Coke (because sugar). I don’t much care for US Coke with its corn based fructose substitute for actual sugar, either.

    This sort of Coke v Pepsi deal happens fairly regularly. In a NZ case, the local Burger King franchise 25-odd years ago also had links to the local Pepsi bottling franchise, so Pepsi or Pepsi it was with your burger and fries.

    And didn’t McDonald’s have a falling out recently with Heinz and dump their tomato sauce for a rival’s after decades in much the same way Ford dumped Firestone after a tyre recall in the early noughties?

    I guess money talks. Cans of Pepsi a few cents cheaper than Coke add up to extra profit if Jet Blue serves millions a year.

  34. I mean, if Pepsi gave them a better deal — more power to B6. But it’s worth remembering how mad people were when United tried this.

    I was born and raised in Atlanta (I haven’t lived there in a decade), so it is an actual obligation that I be pro-Coca Cola. And I do prefer Coke to Pepsi, but honestly, this won’t impact me much. But I totally can see frequent travelers on B6 getting annoyed.

  35. I remember when Alaska switched from Coke to local Seattle soda company, Jones Soda for their inflight drinks in the late 00s. The deals only lasted like a couple years before they switched back to Coke products. From what I remember reading about it, the deal with Jones was mainly intended to bring awareness to the brand itself and expand market share for them as they were at the time trying to grow their brand to be more than just the local quirky soda company who sold odd flavors like Salmon, Turkey & Gravy, and Antacid (those were real flavors, I’m not joking).

  36. Interesting, given Coke’s continued market share advantage over Pepsi. Pepsi must have either really given B6 a great price or written them a very large incentive check to prompt this change, especially since they’re including Sierra Mist instead of going with 7-Up. Sierra Mist is the unwanted bastard stepchild of PepsiCo’s line-up, running behind both Sprite and 7-Up in market share.

    If you have a contract with Coke or Pepsi, you normally can’t carry products of the other but you can usually carry products of what’s now Keureg Dr. Pepper (a corporate marriage I somehow missed before now): Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, and Canada Dry. Some Coke contracts include Mr. Pibb, but most people I know don’t consider it to bed a true Dr. Pepper replacement, and Coke will sometimes allow Canada Dry to be retained rather than requiring a company to switch to Seagram’s, while PepsiCo sometimes allows 7-Up to be carried instead of Sierra Mist. Pepsi doesn’t have a counterpart to Dr. Pepper or a ginger ale (at least as far as I know), so those usually aren’t an issue.

  37. OMG..!! No COKE is just stupid..!! It’s of course better than fake coke that is called Pepsi….

    LOL..!! Pouring out water is even Stupider…

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