Utah’s Brigham Young University (BYU) has lifted its decades-long ban on the sale of caffeinated drinks on campus.
According to the BBC, the move came as a surprise as the largest Mormon college in the US has ensured it was “caffeine-free” since the 1950s.
“Consumer preferences have clearly changed,” the university’s dining services page explained in an online Q&A.
“We realize that there are many choices to be made, and some are more nutritious than others. We strive to offer a variety of food choices and encourage our customers to make healthy choices.”
The announcement comes after years of protest by its students, who have had to go off-campus if they wanted to get any fizzy drinks.
Mormons neither smoke nor drink alcohol, coffee, or tea, as it is prohibited by their religion.
In a statement on its website in 2012, the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clarified its position on this, stating that “the church does not prohibit the use of caffeine”. The faith’s reference to “hot drinks” is limited to tea and coffee. Pepsi and Mountain Dew became fair game.
BYU has already started selling canned and bottled caffeinated soft drinks on campus (though this is limited to only Coca-cola products). The current non-caffeinated sodas in its beverage list will continue to be offered. However, BYU’s Dining Services said it will not be selling highly-caffeinated energy drinks.