Universal Studios is chipping their soda cups to limit refills


I was thinking the same thing, cornsyrup water is cheap as hell and almost all profit. i think that is the key, it isn’t the loss from people getting extra soda, it is the extra money they make from charging sugar junkies for a second round of fixes that pays for this system.

i’ve only ever seen sweetened varieties in the fountains.
i love a good arnold palmer though, unsweetened ice tea with lemonade, so good.




’ “Free” refills’ is such an American thing to begin with. You know, you could just be buying the exact amount of soda that you’re willing to drink (and hopefully be charged less)
Right? You don’t want ‘leeches’ and having to pay for ‘fat slobs in New Jersey’s’ drinking, smoking and obesity (and diabetes) on your communal heath care, but apparently the same people being subsidized on your ‘free’ soda refills; that’s fine!

‘Well,’ one would say, 'the trick obviously is to really drench your guts in soda to ‘cut a profit’ '. … But why though in the first place?


said europe . :smiley:

I know, even when the UK leaves the EU it will still technically be europe, but…

(I kid, I kid. I do hope the whole brexit idiocy gets canned at the last moment because it’s bad for everybody. )


I’m sure they’re there, but I don’t recall seeing any water fountains at Universal when I was there with the kids. Why have easily accessible water fountains when you can sell bottled water instead?


While it’s always fun to mock New Jersey, in all fairness, the obese diabetics tend to live in the south.

From the CDC website


I’m sure every time i’ve gone to a park i’ve gotten bottled water at some point but i do try to limit how much i want to spend. If the parks didn’t nickel and dime so hard i’d probably spend more.


It doesn’t matter if the chipping costs more than syrup, it is the revenue and PROFIT of additional cups sold that is WAY HIGHER than the cost of both chipping and syrup which is what they want to capture.

It isn’t like people sit there drinking soda for three hours, but I would not be surprised if people are saving their cups from lunch for use at dinner. The prices at these parks are so high I can imagine people create all sorts of behaviors to try and reduce their personal costs.


Unsweetened iced tea is often an option for fountain drinks too.

If that is the establishments option for “Unsweetened iced tea,” I will take water instead. Iced tea dispensed through a soda fountain tastes nothing like the daily fresh brewed equivalent. Cold brewed “sun tea” appears to be shelf stable for several days (although food safety experts recommend 8 hours maximum.) Cleaning the urn/jug after making iced tea is paramount.


User design, orienting QR towards scanners is annoying and you need to keep the lenses clean. RFID don’t care about cup orientation or soda spraying everywhere.


I get the lens problem. But the orientation is not really a problem. Just print the QR code on the cup 4 times. the user has to hold the cup in the right spot anyway. Barcode scanners are quite good at picking up barcodes in strange orientations.

And putting electronics in disposable stuff should be strictly forbidden for environmental reasons.


I’m so curious to know the financials behind this decisions… how much the RDIF system costs to implement vs. how much $ they thought they were loosing on refills outside the 2 hour limit. Could they really be loosing that much money to refills?!?


I would guess a decent amount because the cup is the most expensive thing about soda fountain drinks. The soda is dirt cheap, it works out to pennies per cup so the markup/profit is pretty huge. It’s the reason why movie theaters push concessions pretty hard because it’s all easy profit.


I think it’s opportunity cost they are thinking about as opposed to the cost of the soda, that they want to sell more cups of soda throughout the day. But I supposed it didn’t occur to them to just lower the cost of soda so that people wouldn’t feel a need to game the system by dragging a cup around with them all day. :thinking:


Every second someone is not giving me money I am losing money!

See also: Napster/Pandora/the interwebs cost my indie rock band a gazillion dollars!


Fairly certain that the RFID is also a required element to get the dispensers to dispense. Otherwise, someone with a sheet of reasonably durable paper could fold themselves a cup and drink all the caffeinated sugar-water they wanted.


Also: Incels. “Women owe me sex because I want it!”

(It’s a stretch, but the the sense of entitlement is what makes me think of them as being related.)

Edit: by my not perfectly analagous entitlement comparison I was thinking of the Universal Studios management, not Indy bands wanting a fair income from streaming music.


Yeah, no, the indie bands are pretty delusional too.

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