Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/1181
Date of Award
MS in Agriculture - Food Science and Nutrition
Food Science and Nutrition
Dr. Mary E. Pedersen
Hypothesis: "By an environmental change in high school vending machines, making water available, students will choose water over the sugar sweetened sodas."
This document highlights a case study analysis of vendor-provided refill data for forty-five beverage vending machines at two campus sites in one high school district in 2003 and 2004. The innovative study and publicized negotiated soda contract of a 50:50 (healthy to unhealthy) beverage ratio stipulation became the “Win-Win-WEAN” compromise, in which exposure to healthier beverage options for students might prove to provide the same income opportunity for the school district.
An overview of the political climate in California leading to this local advocacy for reduced availability of sodas on school campuses, which began in 1999 before the passage of Senate Bill 19- Pupil Nutrition, Health Achievement Act of October 2001 (SB-19) is also addressed. The quagmire to generate and implement this unique pilot of a 5-year contract stipulating a 50:50 ratio, with strategic placement of qualified healthy beverages in the top slots of the 45 machines, is discussed to give context of the beverage industry practices. The ratio stipulation was intended to target one significant area of empty calories in students’ daily environments in attempt to help reverse the unprecedented obesity epidemic among adolescents. The agreement voted upon by the Santa Maria Joint Union School District’s Board of Trustees in a public meeting, as noted in the minutes of August 14, 2002, was not implemented as originally approved and thus a series of negotiation meetings began, prompting this data analysis. The 50:50 ratio, per SB-19, was not achieved during the performance life of the contract between the school district and the beverage vendor.
School district administration fiscal year-end data in March 2005 confirmed that the hypothesis of a net profit sales quota of $60,000 was rejected, as there was a $7,300 shortfall. The data analyzed did determine that the highest selling, single beverage productwas un-flavored (plain) water with a 65% share. This information was contrary to the beverage vendor and school district business superintendents’ pre-conceived ideas that water in the machines would cause them to lose money. In reality water was the highest revenue generator beverage. The $60,000 minimum guaranteed annual commission, which was in actuality a sales quota projection, was still acknowledged as a contractual commitment by the vendor so no actual deficiency in fund payments was experienced by the school district. The profit margin for both water and other products was 40 cents per can.
The data analysis showed that water was indeed the highest selling beverage regardless of equipment malfunction, restocking failures, and misrepresentation of drinks as healthy by vending machine placement and clever advertising with label changes for the same beverage. When water was included in the vending machines, students responded with immediate purchasing of water, demonstrating the 4th of five distinct stages of readiness for behavior change as “Action” following the principles of Drs’ Prochaska and Di Clemete’s Trans-Theoretical model. This model outlines different levels toward sustained behavior change and typical timelines of each relative stage of change. Keywords: beverage consumption, sodas, obesity, empty calories.