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Burger King Reviewing Pepsi Contract, Asks Coke For Proposal

June 8, 1989

MIAMI (AP) _ Burger King Corp. is reviewing its exclusive soft drink contract with Pepsico Inc. and has asked Coca-Cola Co. for a counter proposal, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

″It’s part of a normal vendor review,″ said Cori Zywotow, spokeswoman for Miami-based Burger King, the world’s second-biggest fast food chain after McDonald’s. ″We asked both Pepsi and Coca-Cola to submit proposals.″

Pepsico has held the account since 1983, the year Coca-Cola lost it, and expressed confidence that it would continue providing the soft drinks on Burger King’s menu.

″We’ve got a good record with Miami and with the franchises,″ said Tod MacKenzie, a spokesman at Pepsi Cola Co. headquarters in Somers, N.Y.

The principals won’t say, but industry experts believe Burger King sales accounted for 2.7 percent of Pepsi’s total soft-drink volume and 13.6 percent of its fountain volume last year.

In Atlanta, Coca-Cola spokesman Randy Donaldson said his company had no comment on the proposal request.

Pepsi’s MacKenzie said the review was expected in light of the new corporate ownership of Pillsbury Co. and the new management team at Burger King.

Pillsbury, Burger King’s parent company, was bought out by Grand Metropolitan PLC last winter. Changes made since at Burger King include the appointment of Gary L. Langstaff, a former top executive at Hardee’s, as Burger King’s top marketing executive. Hardee’s serves both Pepsi and Coke but does more business with Coke.

″We’re looking forward to showing them (the new companies) how effective the Burger King-Pepsi relationship has been for six years,″ MacKenzie said.

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