PROVO, Utah — In a surprise announcement on Thursday, Brigham Young University announced it would begin selling caffeinated sodas on campus, according to KSTU.
It is a cultural shift for a campus that has been “caffeine-free” since the 1950s.
“Until more recently, dining services rarely received requests for caffeinated soda. Consumer preferences have clearly changed and requests have become much more frequent,” the university said in an FAQ announcing the change.
“Despite what was reported, the Church revelation spelling out health practices (Doctrine and Covenants 89) does not mention the use of caffeine. The Church’s health guidelines prohibits alcoholic drinks, smoking or chewing of tobacco, and “hot drinks” — taught by Church leaders to refer specifically to tea and coffee,” the church wrote at the time.
That led to some on-campus petitioning for caffeination. The university consistently resisted calls for a caffeinated campus, insisting its consumers did not want it.
In the FAQ, BYU said it was adjusting to meet consumer demand.
“Yes, the Administrative Vice President has been supportive and has kept the President’s Council informed,” the university said.
BYU said it made the decision based on consumer demand, not financial needs. The Mormon church-owned private university still will not sell highly caffeinated energy drinks, but will offer “freestyle” Coca-Cola machines allowing personalization of sodas.