By Ariana Albarella
Rider has no longer been running on Dunkin’ since the start of the spring semester. The university switched coffee providers and will not be offering Dunkin’ Donuts in Cranberry’s. Wawa Coffee, previously only served in Daly’s, has been chosen as the replacement and is now also available for purchase in Cranberry’s.
Aramark director Scott Oswald stated that after Aramark’s purchase of the popular coffee last year, Dunkin’ Donuts’ parent company, J.M. Smucker’s, was no longer interested in Dunkin’ Donuts dividend reinvestment program. They made the decision to pull out of that line of business.
At the end of last semester, Aramark and Rider Dining Services conducted a tasting event and an online survey on the Rider Dining Facebook page to gauge student reaction to various providers. Ultimately, the decision was meant to be made by the students.
Samples from Peet’s Coffee, Java City Eco-Ground, Seattle’s Best and Wawa Coffee were all present at the tasting event held outside of Cranberry’s during the last week of the fall semester.
“At the tasting event, Wawa actually came in second place by one vote behind Seattle’s Best, but on the Facebook survey, Wawa won with 20 votes to Seattle’s Best’s 14,” Oswald said.
According to the online Facebook survey, there were only 36 participants out of the 578 people who “liked” the page.
“Wawa is a local brand that has a regional following,” said Oswald. “I also believe that the Wawa coffee flavor profile is similar to Dunkin’.”
When asked about the change, many students were unaware of the survey and the tasting event, but had knowledge of the new provider.
“I am upset by the change because I am huge fan of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee,” said
freshman elementary education and psychology major Maria Shute. “I have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Wawa around me, but I have chosen Dunkin’ Donuts as my preferred coffee provider. Since it will no longer be offered on campus, I will probably just get coffee off campus”
Other students feel more or less indifferent to the beverage switch.
“I had a few friends stop in and try the coffee out,” said senior secondary education and history major Christian Lugo. “They were big fans of the coffee that was provided on campus last year, but none of them have remarked really on any change in taste or things of the sort.”
The idea that Wawa coffee will now be offered in more than one location sparked a positive reaction among some students.
“It’s a lot more convenient because now I can get the same flavors I like, such as Dark Roast, in more than one place,” said freshman radio and television major Katie Lassiter.
The conveniences don’t stop at the multiple locations, however. The prices and cup sizes at Cranberry’s remain the same as well as the flavors, ranging from regular blend to hazelnut.