Chair, Board of Directors President and Chief Executive Officer, Buffalo Rock Company
We’re working together to empower the communities and consumers we serve, to grow our economy, advance a more sustainable planet, deliver a wide range of refreshing choices and build a strong industry for the future.
Empowering Americans by providing more choices with less sugar and clear information so they can make the choices that are right for them. Empowering a cleaner, more sustainable planet by reducing our use of new plastic and getting every bottle back. Empowering our communities by being here for our neighbors, supporting local organizations and helping out when emergencies strike. Empowering our nation’s economy by providing good-paying, family-supporting jobs in communities from coast to coast. Empowering our industry to thrive by allowing our iconic companies to compete fairly in the marketplace. Empowering simple moments of pleasure with a refreshing beverage.
This is what America’s beverage companies are all about. It is who we are as an industry. It allows us to foster healthy, sustainable and stronger communities. And it is what we will continue to build on – because America’s beverage industry is driven by transformative innovation and committed to working together, and in partnership with others, to empower the customers, consumers and communities we serve.
That is why we worked diligently last year to advance circularity, provide more zero-sugar beverage options and protect consumer choice. And we held strong against policies that would hurt small businesses and working families, as well as those that would fail to achieve strong environmental outcomes. We are extremely proud of what we accomplished by working together in 2022, and we know that we will continue to build on these efforts into the future to further empower Americans.
Chair, Board of Directors President and Chief Executive Officer, Buffalo Rock Company
President and Chief Executive Officer American Beverage Association
Providing More Choices with Less Sugar
Communities are stronger when consumers have more choices and information to support their efforts to find balance for themselves and their families.
That’s why America’s beverage companies are bringing consumers more choices with less sugar than ever before, from sparkling and flavored waters to zero sugar teas, sports drinks and more. In fact, nearly 60% of beverages sold today have zero sugar. We’ve innovated more package sizes, reformulated beverages to contain less sugar and developed more zero-sugar options—and every choice displays a prominent calorie count label right up front. We’re encouraging consumers to try these options through our marketing efforts and working with retailers to make them more available. All of this is intentional. That’s why we launched our “More Choices. Less Sugar.” education campaign, to connect the dots between the myriad low- and zero-sugar options available today with the leading beverage companies bringing them to market. With television and digital advertising, along with a refreshed and enhanced website—BalanceUS.org—featuring a dynamic tool to explore those beverage options, consumers can feel confident that we are supporting them in reducing the sugar they get from our beverages. And our efforts are working.
Investing in Communities to Advance Circularity
Our Every Bottle Back initiative was intentionally designed to close the loop and create a circular economy for our 100% recyclable plastic bottles.
Modernizing and improving recycling infrastructure—and education about how to do it properly—is critical to making that a reality. That’s why we’re working with The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners to support recycling access, education and infrastructure projects in key regions across the country. In 2022, we launched new projects in Trenton, Bay City and Ypsilanti Township, Mich.; Laurel, Md.; Falmouth and Methuen, Mass.; and Scott County, Iowa. Three years into this effort we’ve committed nearly $20 million in funding, which is being leveraged to more than $100 million to more than two dozen communities across the country so far. Together, they will recycle a projected 719 million more pounds of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic and nearly 56 million more pounds of aluminum over a 10-year period. These are results that have been recognized by environmental organizations and elected officials alike as significant and important. With our national advertising campaign, we reached 244 million Americans with the message that our plastic is valuable and intentionally designed to be 100% recyclable—and we want it back.
We also reinforced that message with consumers by rolling out more reminders on bottle caps encouraging them to recycle them with the caps on. We’re making strong progress, but we know there is more to do and remain steadfast in our efforts to keep our fully recyclable plastic out of nature.
Shaping a Modern Recycling System
Advancing good collection policy that gets more of our valuable 100% recyclable bottles and cans back is an imperative for our industry.
That is why we worked diligently alongside Colorado’s environmental leaders, state lawmakers, beverage companies and other stakeholders to advocate for legislation that will create a modern, high-performing recycling system in the Centennial State. Once signed into law by Governor Jared Polis, this innovative and forward-thinking legislation became the nation’s first true, full extended producer responsibility (EPR) law. We are proud that this legislation builds upon our industry’s collection policy principles developed in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It will deliver strong environmental outcomes, be run by the private sector and collect more of our valuable materials—and we are excited about how it can serve as a promising model for other states. That’s why we stood alongside WWF to share our joint principles with others interested in fast-tracking a sustainable future, including at a summit held by Politico. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and other stakeholders to bring this law to life, and to seeing firsthand the impact it will have for Coloradans and others across the country seeking to advance sound environmental policy.
Standing Up for All Americans by Protecting Consumer Choice
Americans deserve choices and clear information so they can choose the foods and beverages that are right for themselves and their families. In fact, choices and information – not restrictions and taxes – lead to better outcomes for families, including those who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. That’s why we were at the table when the White House convened a conference to address hunger, nutrition and health. And we weren’t alone. We have a broad set of allies who support maintaining choice within the SNAP program, including hunger advocates and retailers.
We also know that, despite their intent, discriminatory taxes on beverages wouldn’t improve public health or advance nutrition equity. But they would place a burden on small businesses as well as working families. So when 19 beverage tax bills were introduced last year—from California to Hawaii, Maine to New York, Rhode Island to Tennessee and beyond—we stood up for those who would be impacted most, protecting consumer choice and ensuring these proposals would never impact their grocery bills. We also saw the oldest beverage tax in the country unanimously repealed by the state legislature and subsequently signed by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. This action was a long time in the making. Importantly, we demonstrated our relentless commitment to states and cities everywhere that we will continue to fight unfair, regressive policies that single out our products.
Helping Out in Times of Need
As members of every community in America, showing up for our neighbors, especially in times of need, is what we do.
When tornadoes struck the central states of Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee, America’s beverage companies donated thousands of cases of beverages, while The Coca-Cola Foundation and The PepsiCo Foundation donated nearly $1 million to relief and recovery efforts. When Hurricane Ian landed on the shores of Florida as one of the most powerful hurricanes in America’s history, the devastation was significant. The beverage industry activated quickly, donating beverages, supporting local nonprofit organizations, partnering with the Salvation Army, providing more than $1 million in grants to the American Red Cross and more. When heavy rains caused the Pearl River to flood, water plants around the greater Jackson, Miss., area began to fail. America’s beverage companies, including local Coca-Cola bottler Clark Beverage Group and local Pepsi bottler Brown Bottling Group, stepped up, donating thousands of cases of bottled water to make sure people had clean drinking water. And when aging infrastructure led to water supply contamination in parts of Baltimore, local bottlers sprang into action to deliver pallets of bottled water to ensure residents had safe drinking water. These are some of the many ways in which we are here for our neighbors.
Building Healthy Communities
Now more than ever the work our nation’s mayors are doing to advance healthy communities is critically important.
That’s why through the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America, we proudly continued our partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) to support the Childhood Obesity Prevention and Environmental Health and Sustainability Awards. In 2022 we provided a total of $745,000 in grants to the cities of: Denver, Colo.; Orlando, Fla.; Baltimore, Md.; Des Moines, Iowa; Montgomery, Ala.; Bridgeport, Conn.; White Plains, N.Y.; Salisbury, N.C.; and Daytona Beach, Fla. These grants support mayors in advancing outstanding programs to enhance health, wellness and environmental quality of life for children and families. Through our decade-long partnership, more than $5 million has been awarded to more than 60 cities across the country. There is always more to do, especially as the pandemic brought an increased focus to issues that have long been a challenge to the daily lives of many Americans, such as nutrition access, affordability and education. That’s why we launched a new partnership between our Foundation and the African American Mayors Association (AAMA). With an annual grant program, together we will support programs that will help address health disparities in cities led by African American mayors. We look forward to announcing the inaugural grant recipients in 2023, and to sharing learnings from this important effort. And through the Foundation’s longstanding matching grant program, in partnership with state associations and local bottlers, we continue to support a variety of community organizations that are working to advance the physical and environmental health of their local communities. In 2022, the Foundation supported seven programs in five states, adding to the total impact of this important program.
Championing Sound Science Globally
American Beverage and its members remain committed to driving the science forward on the safety and benefits of our beverages and their ingredients, helping to inform policy and decision-making here in the U.S. and around the globe—and 2022 was no different.
That’s why we engaged in efforts around the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans process, FDA’s Nutrition Initiatives and California Proposition 65 matters, among others. We also recognize the importance of low- and no-calorie sweeteners as a critical ingredient to supporting consumers in their efforts to reduce the sugar they consume while still enjoying their beverages. That is why our Board approved a voluntary guidance for labeling of the sugar substitute stevia and stevia-related sweeteners to enhance consumer understanding of these important ingredients. Around the globe, our International Council of Beverages Association (ICBA) represented the global industry by engaging with key organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organization (WTO). It advocated for the harmonization of standards and regulations among countries to ensure a level playing field for business certainty, but as importantly, to create consistency for consumers in the increasingly global society in which we live and operate. Whether marketing, taxation or the use of key ingredients, our positions on these topics will always be grounded in the strongest evidence and the best science.
Ensuring A Strong Future for Our Industry
Like other industries, in 2022 we faced challenges on aluminum and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Section 232 tariffs on aluminum, which took effect on imports, resulted in our industry paying more than $1.7 billion in tariffs regardless of whether the aluminum we purchase is subject to tariffs. Removing these tariffs is critical to our industry, and to keeping prices of everyday grocery items affordable for Americans. So we worked with the National Foreign Trade Council to successfully seek removal of the Section 232 duties on aluminum from the European Union and the United Kingdom. We also convened others in the broader food and beverage industry to address the ongoing CO2 shortage. CO2 is critical not only for the carbonization of beverages, but it is also used in the meat industry and for the freezing and refrigeration of food products. This is why we highlighted these far-reaching impacts with the Administration and Congress and continue to explore policy solutions with key lawmakers.
America’s beverage companies are part of the fabric of America and play an important role in our nation’s economy. Our industry provides more than 265,000 good-paying, family-supporting jobs and helps to support hundreds of thousands more that depend, in part, on beverage sales for their livelihoods. Our direct impact to our nation’s economic engine is more than $174 billion, and we provide significant tax revenues—more than $15 billion at the state level and more than $24 billion at the federal level. Supporting our communities in real and meaningful ways matters deeply to us. That’s why our beverage companies and their employees contribute $2.4 billion to charitable causes in communities across the nation.
direct economic impact
family-supporting jobs for U.S. workers
in wages and benefits
contributed in federal taxes
contributed in state taxes
workers depend, in part, on beverage sales
donated to charitable causes
Beating Back Bad Bottle Bills
When old school bottle bills that are unfair to business, inconvenient to consumers and ineffective in achieving strong environmental outcomes were proposed, we acted.
In 2022, 24 new bottle bills were proposed, all in states without existing deposit laws—and not one passed. When we saw an opportunity to make an existing deposit law work better for the environment, consumers and the business community, we worked with the Iowa Beverage Association and local bottlers to support their efforts with lawmakers. As California lawmakers considered a new law requiring all packaging to be recyclable or compostable by 2032, among other things, we engaged fully throughout the legislative process. In the end, we were able to avoid a statewide ballot measure that would tax all plastics and with the new law, carve out an exemption for products currently included in the state’s deposit law. We did this because what matters is advancing policy with sustainable and strong environmental outcomes.
In June, more than 150 beverage industry members convened in Washington, D.C., for our Annual Fly-In. Connecting with members of Congress in-person again proved an excellent opportunity to share our story of leading with bold solutions on some of our nation’s most pressing challenges.
Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., (left) and his staff hear from members of New Hampshire’s beverage industry about their impact in the Granite State.
ABA Board Chair Matthew Dent briefs Fly-In attendees on the many innovative efforts the beverage industry is engaged in.
Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., addresses Fly-In attendees at the Capitol Hill Club to share the priorities of the House Agriculture Committee.
Members of Iowa’s beverage industry sit down with Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, (right) to share how they are helping to build the local economy.
Punchbowl News Founders Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer predict 2022 election results with Fly-In dinner attendees.
ABA Vice President and Head of Federal Affairs Barbara Hiden briefs Fly-In attendees on what to expect on Capitol Hill in a post-pandemic environment.
ABA Board Chair Matthew Dent (left) joins Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala. (right), to share how the industry is taking intentional actions to support Alabamans in reducing sugar.
Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark. (center), poses for a photo with (left to right) PepsiCo’s Dan Christenson, ABA’s Katherine Lugar, Keurig Dr Pepper’s Jennifer Amundsen and The Coca-Cola Company’s Jim McGreevy after a discussion on industry’s sustainability efforts in the state.
Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages’ Joseph McCoin (left) and Ish Arebalos (right) meet with Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas (center), to share the beverage industry’s economic impact in Texas.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh welcomes Fly-In breakfast attendees and shares 2022 priorities for the department.
A record turnout of over 200 beverage industry employees and partners joined together in California to strategize on ways to improve our collective efforts, including on environmental sustainability and health and wellness.
(Left to right) Coca-Cola Consolidated’s Jennifer Richmond, West Virginia Beverage Association’s Will Swann, PepsiCo’s Darren Clark and ABA’s Bill McManus celebrate Swann’s recognition as a Beverage Industry Champion.
ABA’s Kevin Keane (left) closed the conference discussing what’s ahead in 2023 with The Coca-Cola Company’s Lauren Sayeski (left), PepsiCo’s Brigitte Gwyn (right) and Keurig Dr Pepper’s Peter DePasquale (on screen).
Niagara Bottling’s Derrick Thomas engages with conference panelists.
The Coca-Cola Company’s Art Yoon (left) and PepsiCo’s Lupe DeLaCruz (right) share insights on California politics and trends.
Gauge’s Chantrese Williams discusses the national conversation around health equity.
Food Research & Action Center’s Ellen Vollinger speaks to the hunger community’s perspective on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Arnold & Porter’s Will Wagner joins conference attendees for a breakout session on packaging components.
(Left to right) Michael Torrey Associates’ Barbara Patterson, ABA’s Franklin Davis, BGR Group’s Andy Lewin and Invariant’s Mary Beth Stanton facilitate discussion on federal issues impacting the beverage industry.
Georgia Beverage Association’s Kevin Perry reads up on the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America during a beverage break.
Beverage industry employees, allies and consultants salute Colorado Beverage Association’s Mary Marchun (third from left) for her recognition as a Beverage Industry Champion.
Eco-Cycle’s Kate Bailey (left) discusses collection policy efforts with Breezeway Consulting’s Bree Dietly (right).
ABA’s Katherine Lugar chats with ABA Board Vice Chair, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling’s Bill O’Brien, about the bold initiatives underway within our industry.
Beverage Association of Tennessee’s Greg Adkins introduces himself at the start of the conference.
Not Pictured: Barbara Ferreira, Tracey Halliday, Kate Loatman, Bill McManus, Stacey Pine, Rick Rivas and David Thorp