Next summer’s North Dakota State Fair will have a different flavor — literally. 2016 will be a year of transitions. Starting in April, vendors on the fairgrounds will be required to switch from Coke products to Pepsi products. In a similar transition starting June 1st, beer served on the fairgrounds will be distributed by Magic City Beverage (Budweiser and other brands) as opposed to Morelli’s Distributing (Coors and other brands).
After a short conversation with ND State Fair Director Renae Korslien, I learned these transitions occasionally take place as the result of contracts that give distributors the exclusive rights to distribute on the fairgrounds. They are typically 5-year contracts, but both Coke and Morelli’s held the previous contracts for many years.
In a follow-up story, I’ll be looking into how the North Dakota State Fair compares to other fairs in the region with regards to these exclusive contracts and investigating how these transitions affect vendors that service the fairgrounds and the many events held there.
In other NDSF news, fair staff recently returned from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions where they were received multiple awards. Get that story directly from Beth Ryan, the NDSF Media Director.