Price increases hit campus vending machines

A bump in the cost of items in vending machines on campus is the result of rising food costs for vendors. (Preface photo: Nick Wort)
A bump in the cost of items in vending machines on campus is the result of rising food costs for vendors. (Preface photo: Nick Wort)

Staff Writer

Prices in IU South Bend’s vending machines have risen according to Ziggy Pairitz, director of dining services.

This increase has occurred on both Coca-Cola products and regular food items. The food is distributed on campus through a vending company called Canteen.

“Canteen approached me and asked if I could go to the university because they’ve had some cost increases that have hit their bottom line,” Pairitz said.

“I asked them to put together a small presentation that I was able to take to Bill O’Donnell, who is the vice chancellor,” he added. “We presented him the information showing that they did have a cost increase and that they would unfortunately need to have an increase in their vending operations on campus. Bill agreed once he saw that they had a legitimate concern and a legitimate reason.”

The cost of chips and other salty snacks has risen to $1, candy bars to $1.25 and soda to $1.50.

The Coca-Cola machines on campus, which are not distributed through Canteen, have also seen a rise in pricing. This increase comes directly from Coca-Cola.

“The pricing across the board for Coke has gone up. Part of that has to do with the fact that they use a lot of corn syrup and we’re using a lot of corn for biofuels,” Pairitz explained. “To make the alcohol for the biofuels you’ve got corn that used to actually be used for food supply. Some of the food supply is being pulled away and that’s actually driving the cost of corn.”

Currently, these increases are only affecting vending machine prices, though Pairitz noted that prices for the rest of dining services will be revisited and re-evaluated in the summer and fall.

“I know everyone is trying to hold prices as best we can, because we know if affects everyone on campus. And we know that a lot of the students, and even faculty and staff, have tight budgets.” Pairitz stated. “But we have costs that we have to make, and I understand that with the vending. I’m in the same boat they are.”

Student reaction to the price increase has been mixed, though many noted that it has not affected them at all.

“It’s a little high compared to other places, but it seems like a lot of things are a little bit high right now,” said Jason Barnes, student.

“It hasn’t affected me yet, maybe later when I start eating here all the time,” said Calvin Zielinski, another IUSB student.

IUSB’s current contract with Canteen is active until 2015. Pairitz noted that Sodexo Services will be able to choose which vending company will be used after this contract is fulfilled.

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