Why Costco Once Stopped Selling Coca-Cola

It's hard to imagine a world without Coca-Cola. Everywhere you go, you see some type of product produced by the Coca-Cola company, and the ads are quite catchy. The soft drink product has been around since 1886, according to InterExchange, created by a pharmacist named Dr. John S. Pemberton. But, wait — why would a pharmacist create a product that is full of sugar and caffeine? Well, it wasn't always made that way.

Pemberton was reworking his recipe for Pemberton's French Wine Coca, thanks to prohibition laws, and he marketed his new soda drink as a medicine intended to heal heartburn, headaches, and nausea. Of course, it did none of that, but people fell in love with the drink and it became popular nearly overnight. Before long, Coca-Cola (or Coke) products were in just about every restaurant and store, and even though it's a popular brand, there's probably a lot you don't know about Coca-Cola

For example — did you know that Costco once refused to sell Coca-Cola products?

Coke wouldn't negotiate with Costco

For Costco, it's all about what's good for business, and business was working out with Coca-Cola, for a time. Costco is a wholesale retailer, which means they sell in bulk to their members. This bulk-buying allows the store to cut costs on the packaging, as well as on shipping and handling. This also allows them to work with companies directly to place large orders, per Finance Buzz, giving Costco the chance to negotiate cheaper prices. They then pass these savings along to shoppers, which is one of the many benefits of a Costco membership.

Take, for example, Coca-Cola. Stores that don't sell in bulk might order a certain number of cases of Coke products, but a company that sells in bulk, like Costco, can buy more at one time, which gives brands like Coca-Cola more money. In return, Costco asks for discounts on the products they buy because they are bringing in higher sales. But, per Go Banking Rates, Coca-Cola once refused to give the discounts that Costco wanted, and so the retailer refused to sell Coke products.

Costco stops selling Coke

According to Go Banking Rates, Costco pulled all Coca-Cola products from its shelves for several months in 2009 because Coca-Cola would not give Costco the wholesale discounts it wanted. This move was apparently the right one because the soda brand eventually surrendered and gave Costco what it was asking for. The harmony between the two companies didn't last for long, though. In 2013, Insider reported that Costco would be replacing all Coke products with Pepsi products in its food courts, nationwide.

If you prefer Coke to Pepsi, don't panic too much. You can still buy Coke products, in all its many varieties, including Coca-Cola energy drinks, in Costco stores. However, if you want a fountain soda from the food court to go along with your Costco lunch or the many free samples the retailer provides to shoppers, you will have to order Pepsi products. But maybe buying soda — of any variety — from Costco isn't a smart move. As Go Banking Rates reports, soda is one of the worst things you can buy from the wholesaler because the discounts aren't much of a deal.