Kum & Go Looks to End Pop Vs. Soda Debate

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Kum & Go Looks to End Pop Vs. Soda Debate

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- In effort to better understand which is the preferred consumer name, "pop" or "soda," Kum & Go is in the process of a summer long voting campaign.

As of last month, the results were nearly tied; however, this month "pop" is leading in eight of the 12 states Kum & Go operates c-stores. Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri and Montana are currently "soda" states.

In Iowa, the retailer’s home state, 53 percent have voted for "pop" with 47 percent voting for "soda."

Kum & Go manager Joyce Shehan told the Clarinda Herald-Journal that voting is determined by which of two cups customers select when purchasing a 32 ounce fountain drink at one of the company’s stores.

"The contest started in June, and there are red cups for pop and blue cups for soda. We have different buttons on the cash register to tally the purchases," Shehan told the paper.

While "pop" is leading eight of the 12 states in the campaign, Shehan said the company has actually run out of blue soda cups.

"I didn’t figure people would notice. I thought they just wanted to take advantage of the 52-cent pop, but people have been asking what happened to the soda cups. So the people are noticing the difference in the cups and want their voice to be heard," Shehan told the paper.

Dr. Jordan Soliz, assistant professor of Communications Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University Nebraska at Lincoln, told the paper the use of these two words underscores examples of regional dialects

"Basically, regional dialects develop the same way we learn any type of language. When you hear words repeated by adults, or members of your family, that is the language you learn. Various regions have different accents, dialects and names for different things," Soliz told the paper.