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October 9, 2003

The Big SnApple: New York Schools Get Schwepped Away


In Mid-September, New York City and Snapple, a division of Cadbury-Schweppes, announced an immense $166 million marketing deal that makes Snapple the official drink of America’s biggest city. Among other things, the plump deal gives Snapple exclusive rights to sell water and fruit juice throughout New York’s substantial public school system.

However, the deal raises huge questions. For example, why turn schools into a giant marketing ground? And what’s so swell about selling water to kids when they already get it free? (According to Consumers Union, New York City has the finest water of any city in the country.)

In light of the problems with childhood obesity, the agreement also raises weighty health concerns. Even though Snapple plans to distribute 100 percent juice drinks, like soft drinks, many fruit juices provide sizable calories from sugar. And while fruit contains some fiber, it largely disappears when the fruit is turned into juice.

The agreement also calls for Snapple to begin vending flavored milk (which the company privately anticipates will generate outsized demand). It’s anticipated this product will also have largely questionable nutritional value.

Our "before" and "after" logo for New York City schools:


(before Snapple)


(after Snapple)

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