Starwood cans Pepsi products in favor of Coke

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK Coca-Cola beverages are returning to Starwood Hotels & Resorts properties in the United States.

Five years after losing Starwood to arch rival PepsiCo, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola has again won exclusive supplier rights, Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

In 2006, Starwood dumped Coca-Cola in favor of PepsiCo, despite then Starwood-CEO Steve Heyer’s past as a Coca-Cola executive.

In an internal company memo, Coca-Cola vice president of business development Mike Rizzo says the new Starwood contract was “several years” in the making. “At the end of the day, this was about our consumer-preferred brands, marketing expertise and global scale,” Rizzo says. “Starwood wanted a partnership that could not be replicated—one that would distinguish both of our businesses in the marketplace.”