A Message from Our Executive Director
This October will mark the Centennial Anniversary of our national American Beverage Association. When I was hired in the early 2000’s to helm the Ohio Soft Drink Association, I also got involved in what was known as the National Soft Drink Association. We both changed our names to better reflect the diversity of beverages produced by member companies, dropping “soft drink” and embracing “beverage”. So much has changed in our industry, particularly with beverage portfolios spanning several hundred different types of beverages. Traditional soda now keeps company with sparkling waters, functional drinks designed for specific needs, lower calorie versions of old favorites and more. A walk down any beverage aisle in your favorite supermarket or pull on cold case doors at a convenience store reveals a rainbow of flavors, sizes and choices in refreshment. What hasn’t changed is our industry’s deep commitment to consumer demands. Afterall, no one stays in business over 100 years without responding to changing customer tastes. Our members invest considerable time in product development, marketing, production and distribution turning great ideas into delicious first sips. And we haven’t forgotten our commitment to the environment. The stories we share in this edition of REFRESH highlight that ongoing commitment and new energy around getting more of our beverage containers recycled. We will have much more to say on this topic in the coming weeks as members prepare to announce a next level recycling focus. Kimberly McConville, CAE Executive Director
"In 1919, a group of businessmen had the foresight to create the American Beverage Association, the premier trade association that represents the iconic non-alcoholic beverage industry. Just as this industry has evolved since that time, so, too, has its association." In honor of #throwbackthursday, check out this video from the American Beverage Association highlighting 100 Refreshing Years.
On Board: Get to Know Sam Meiner
Market Unit Vice President, Ohio Market Unit
Q: How long have you worked in the industry? 27 Years Q: What led you to the industry? I worked in the grocery industry for a local IGA in Northern Kentucky through high school. I was lucky to connect with the local account manager and merchandised the beverage section for him. I was then hired by the account manager to merchandise additional stores in the area. This has been my only job for my entire adult life. Q: What’s your favorite beverage? No question about this one - Coca-Cola! Q: What’s the biggest change you’ve witnessed during your tenure in the industry? Warehouse automation; having pallets built and loaded by machines is very cool. Q: What industry challenges do you see in the next five years? Keeping our trucks on the road and delivering to our customers. The pressures to keep qualified CDL drivers are increasing by the day. Maintaining our Go to Market model with sales and delivery will continue to get tougher as less people are earning their certificates to drive commercial vehicles. Q: What makes Ohio a great place to do business? Our people and our customers make Ohio the best place to do business with. Q: What do you think our industry has to offer recent grads? A stable profession that has been around for over 125 years. The opportunity to learn many facets of an ever-growing business. To be part of a fun, fast and exciting business (that is never boring). The opportunity to work in an industry that is innovative and competitive.
Why Does So Much Recyclable Trash End Up In Recycling Bins?
The PepsiCo Foundation, as part of the All In On Recycling program, provided a $10 million donation to supply 65 gallon wheeled recycling carts to Gahanna and Reynoldsburg, Ohio. These carts replaced the smaller 18 gallon bins that were previously used. The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio is combing through items placed in these new carts to help reduce the amount of non-recyclable trash that is removed from the recycling stream.
Coca-Cola Consolidated Rolls Out the Red Barrels!
"Coca-Cola Consolidated recently partnered with The Ohio State University to "Roll out the Barrels" as part of an event to support recycling across Hamilton County. In early August, The Ohio State Buckeye Bus brought students, faculty and staff from Columbus to Washington Park in downtown Cincinnati to help repurpose Coca-Cola syrup barrels. Volunteers from Ohio State and Coca-Cola Consolidated made 60+ barrels into recycling bins. The bins were distributed across Hamilton County, the City of Cincinnati and on The Ohio State University campus." Via Jennifer Richmond, Coca-Cola Consolidated
New Playground Coming Soon
Thanks to a generous contribution made by our very own Keurig Dr Pepper, a playground on the east side of Akron is about to get a makeover! Keurig Dr Pepper is partnering with KaBoom Inc.!, along with the Ohio & Erie Canal Coalition, the United Way of Summit County and the Knight Foundation to revitalize the space. Click the button below to learn more about this exciting partnership.
Complex Problem = Complex Solution
Complex problems demand complex solutions. This cliché holds when it comes to recycling. But how do decision-makers and consumers sort through the rhetoric to better understand challenges around recycling? The first step is to acknowledge that a complex challenge involves multiple actors and systems. In the case of PET plastic bottles, our industry is working on many levels to ensure more of our beverage containers are recycled. This understanding includes global realities, container design decisions, consumer behavior, processing capabilities and end users. Any one of these factors contains multiple decisions, interactions and behavior change. Not easy stuff, but our member companies have worked for decades to reduce our environmental footprint. Our work continues with a renewed focus on our plastic footprint.