BYU adds caffeinated soft drinks for first time since 1950s

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PROVO, UT (KSL) — BYU has added caffeinated soft drinks on its campus for the first time since the 1950s, the university announced Thursday.

BYU Food Services began selling caffeinated Coca-Cola products this week, Dean Wright, director of BYU Dining Services said in a post on the school’s website. The decision, he said, was supported by the school’s Administrative Vice President’s Office.

KSL.com reports Wright added Dining Services will still sell caffeine-free versions of Coca-Cola products. Energy drinks, however, will not be sold.

He said the BYU Food Services decided not to sell caffeinated soft drinks beginning in the mid-1950s and consumer preferences have changed in the past several years.

For example, a BYU student began a change.org petition to allow caffeinated soft drinks on campus in 2012 after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns BYU, issued a response to an NBC News special clarifying its stance on caffeinated products.

“Despite what was reported, the Church revelation spelling out health practices does not mention the use of caffeine,” the Church said in a statement at the time. “The Church’s health guidelines prohibit alcoholic drinks, smoking or chewing of tobacco, and “hot drinks” — taught by Church leaders to refer specifically to tea and coffee.”

The Church-owned LDS Business College began selling caffeinated soft drinks in June, according to the The Daily Universe.

EastIdahoNews.com contacted Brigham Young University-Idaho, where caffeinated drinks are not sold. A spokesman says the Rexburg campus isn’t planning to make any changes to its drink offerings.