CSPI Releases Beverage Vending Contracts Study
December 13, 2006 -- On December 6, 2006, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) released a report on school beverage vending contracts. The analysis, conducted jointly by CSPI and the Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI), analyzed 120 beverage contracts in 16 states.
The study questions whether beverage contracts are lucrative or not, raising approximately $18 per student per year. The report also found that nearly 67% of the revenue goes to the beverage companies. The money schools receive from the beverage contracts are not donations, but money spent by parents and students. About 93% of the contracts the study analyzed are exclusive, which allows only one company to sell and market beverages in schools. Many of the contracts also include clauses that penalize schools that do not meet sales quotas. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Argosy Foundation sponsored the study.
According to the 2006 Back to School Trends survey conducted by SNA, more school districts are opting to stock their vending machines with healthier beverages, such as 100% fruit juices, water, and skim and low-fat regular and flavored milk. Over the past few years, there has been a steady decrease in the number of schools that offer soda in their vending machines. With the implementation of local wellness policies, schools are making a more concerted effort to provide healthy and nutritious drinks and snacks to students.
SNA is one of nearly 100 organizations working with Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Representatives Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) and Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) to pass the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act. This bill would give the USDA the authority to create a national nutrition standard for all foods sold on school campuses during the school day.