Catering at Games' Venues

Plenary on 2009-10-21
Session date: 
October 21, 2009
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
Seb Coe (Chair, LOCOG) and Paul Deighton (CEO, LOCOG)


What are the requirements of Coca Cola and McDonalds in relation to the catering arrangements at Games' venues?


Answer for Catering at Games' Venues

Answer for Catering at Games' Venues

Answered By: 
Seb Coe (Chair, LOCOG) and Paul Deighton (CEO, LOCOG)

Good morning, I am going to take that. Thank you very much for the question, Jenny. Food and drink at the Games; very important to fuel the athletes, a big part of the spectator experience and it is what keeps our workforce going.

On Coca Cola specifically, it is, as you know, a worldwide partner of the International Olympic Committee and its contract for the 2012 Games was actually renewed in 2005. That is the contractual basis which grants the rights that you are asking about here. Its right is to be the exclusive supplier of non-alcoholic beverages in the Park. Let me just tell you what that means; I think the two bits of extra information I will give you, so you can understand the implications of that, are that Coca Cola, of course, has a wide range of products so it includes not only the specific one, Coca Cola, but also fruit juices and water. The second thing I will just say to you is we have already committed to providing free drinking water in each of the venues as well. So that is Coca Cola. Would you like me to talk about McDonalds as well?

Jenny Jones (AM): So there is a blanket ban on any other drinks from people who are not official sponsors basically? That is a blanket ban?

Paul Deighton (Chief Executive Officer, LOCOG): The way sponsorship works is that, in return for what is the substantial proportion of funding to put into the Games, the sponsors have exclusivity with respect to the category that we provide them with. Coca Cola's category is non-alcoholic beverages.

Jenny Jones (AM): So can people bring in their own water, for example?

Paul Deighton (Chief Executive Officer, LOCOG): Yes. Absolutely.

Jenny Jones (AM): So people could bring their own drinks in?

Paul Deighton (Chief Executive Officer, LOCOG): Yes. People can come in with a backpack; they will have stuff in it. We will be perfectly relaxed about it. What we would not be relaxed about or what would be confusing is if people are bringing in massive hampers which need to go through security and all that kind of thing. What we hope, at Games time, is that the range and quality and value of what we are providing at the venues in the Park is sufficiently attractive that that is how you would want to eat and drink.

Jenny Jones (AM): Will those companies who are supplying non-McDonalds and non-Coca Cola, will they be branded? So could we see smaller companies who have got their own branding?

Paul Deighton (Chief Executive Officer, LOCOG): Let me just talk about McDonalds and the food so you get a complete answer to your question because that is where I will deal with the range that comes in on the food side.

McDonalds, like Coca Cola, has a worldwide contract with the IOC. That was, I think, renewed in 2004. Its marketing rights are in the restaurant and food services category so it provides the things you are accustomed to seeing in its restaurants plus, for example, soft serve ice cream and milk shakes. This is all very specifically categorised.

We will be announcing and publishing our Food Strategy in December which will go right through how we plan to provide a range of food, how we intend to deal with very important issues like food hygiene and safety.

Jenny Jones (AM): You have not mentioned the branding though. Will there be other branding?

Paul Deighton (Chief Executive Officer, LOCOG): We will not allow other branding. It will be provided on a generic basis. So, for example, there may be a food court where we have 'vegetarian' or 'Mediterranean', through which will be served a whole range of products beyond the ones that the sponsors provide. There will be a very wide range of foods provided; they just will not be branded competitors of the sponsors who paid significantly to have that exclusivity.

Jenny Jones (AM): I am really glad to hear that people will be able to take their own food and water in and there will be free drinking water in there. Obviously it is always lovely to see your happy faces here, so thank you.