Dining With Denise Neil

Fountain drink wars heat up in Wichita

How low can they go?
How low can they go? The Wichita Eagle

The fountain drink wars in Wichita have escalated this summer.

Not long ago, QuikTrip launched its annual discount-drink promotion. The store’s 32-ounce “Big Q” cups dropped from 99 cents to 79 cents. Soda lovers rejoiced.

But wait.

Kwik Shop wanted in on the game, too. So it launched its summer “Fountain Fest,” selling 32-ounce drinks for 69 cents apiece. This was getting interesting.

Not to be outdone, QuikTrip fired back, lowering its drink price to 68 cents, one full penny cheaper than the offerings over at the Fountain Fest.

And it’s only May.

Prices can vary from market to market, said Mike Thornbrugh, QuikTrip’s manager of public and government affairs. In fact, the Big Qs are still 79 cents in Tulsa.

But when challenged, he said, QuikTrip often responds.

“You’ll see from time to time in certain areas, store XYZ may go to certain price, and QuikTrip will either match it or beat it,” he said. “The bottom line is that those who like fountain drinks are going to have a great summer in Wichita.”

QuikTrip charges 10 cents more for styrofoam cups while Kwik Shop offers them at the same price as plastic cups.