What's Floating Around

What’s Floating Around Cloud 9 July 2019


Wowser it’s been a warm one and even though it was a little short lived, it shows that we can occasionally enjoy some great weather in this country. With record sales of BBQ items and Beer, a little sunshine is good for the economy along with everything else you associate with summer. The big brands are probably rubbing their hands together in glee!

So whilst this might be somewhat of a tenuous link, it does bring to mind a story we heard recently involving three of the big brands in the event industry and their history.  So if you have ever wondered why only Pepsi is available at Marriott and Starwood Hotels #EventProfs, then read on.

Loyalty clearly is the foundation of this story, and it starts with a senior executive from Coca-Cola Co who stated the soft-drink company lost a big contract with Marriott after Coca-Cola refused to lend Marriott around $100 million despite the brand being in all of their hotels for over 20 years. Marriott were in a little trouble financially and turned to their suppliers to help and whilst the numbers might seem staggering here, someone somewhere at the Coca-Cola company must be kicking themselves!

Marriott’s switch to Pepsi followed Coke’s refusal to lend Marriott somewhere in the region of $50 million to $100 million in loans and although the brand is not a bank,  someone at Pepsi stepped in to the breach and helped out the hotel chain during their sticky patch. Subsequently all of the hotels in their portfolio now stock Pepsi products rather than Coke.

When Marriott took over Starwood in 2016, any Coke products started to slowly be replaced around their global portfolio and as the big hotel chains continue to expand, they are certainly not being left behind and made record organic room signings in Europe in 2018.

The US hospitality giant ended the year with a portfolio of more than 6,900 properties and more than 1.3 million rooms in 130 countries worldwide, and their plan is to add an additional 1700 hotels to that portfolio in the next three years.

We are not economists here at Cloud 9 but let’s, with a really really really low estimated guess, look at a single sale of a pepsi drink a day in each of those hotels – 6,900 x 365 days – that’s an awful lot of sales to Pepsi…

Now, where did we leave our ice, it’s time for a fizzy drink?!

Have a great week…