Bottled Water Reporter

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IN THIS ISSUE What's Next Lessons From The Battle for the Dietary Award-Winning Over Plastics Guidelines? Route Salespeople


RELIABLE HOD ROUTE SALESPEOPLE How Do You Find Them—and How Do You Keep Them?

Also Inside:

How to “Manage the Message” in Your Marketing Efforts Increase Sales By Making Water More Interesting A PUBLICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOTTLED WATER ASSOCIATION


VOL. 59 • NO. 3


24 | The Battle Over Plastics Because plastic faces more scrutiny than ever before, education—for the public and lawmakers—is key. COMMUNICATIONS

26 | The ROI of Day-to-Day Communications Award-winning route salespeople understand the importance of getting to know their customers. TECHNICAL UPDATE

28 | 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Process Enters Next Stage Now that the members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have been announced, what’s next for the DGA process? VALUE OF IBWA MEMBERSHIP

32 | Why a World-Class Manufacturer Needs a World-Class Association Michael Efron (The Waterways Company) explains why his company relies on the valuable industry insights provided by IBWA.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 10 | Reliable HOD Route Salespeople Although the home and office delivery (HOD) segment of the bottled water industry continues to achieve incremental growth year over year, bottlers find it increasingly hard to hire route salespeople. That's why when it comes to hiring reliable HOD route salespeople, adaptation is the name of the game. By Chris Torres

15 | How to “Manage the Message” in Your Marketing Efforts IBWA’s podcast—“H2O In The Know”—recently discussed with marketing expert Jim Karrh how bottled water companies can enhance messaging to make their brand stand out in a crowded market. This abridged transcript provides insight for HOD bottlers and others on the benefits of managing your message—both externally and internally.

19 | Increase Sales By Making Water More Interesting Wondering how to increase sales among your existing HOD customers? In this article, former editor of H2OEurope, Bottledwaterworld, and Refreshment magazines suggests investing in more ancillary products to help increase trips to the watercooler. By Bill Bruce

CHAIRMAN'S COMMENTARY................................2 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE.......................................4 WATER NOTES.....................................................6 CPO QUIZ..........................................................30 ADVERTISERS....................................................31 CALENDAR........................................................31


BOTTLED WATER REPORTER, Volume 59, Number 3. Published six times a year by The Goetz Printing Company, 7939 Angus Court, Springfield, VA, 22153, for the International Bottled Water Association, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22314-2973. Tel: 703.683.5213, Fax: 703.683.4074, Subscription rate for members is $25 per year, which is included in the dues. U.S. and Canadian subscription rate to nonmembers is $50 per year. International subscription rate is $100 per year. Single copies are $7. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bottled Water Reporter, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22314-2973.


I want to start a new trend: the area around the watercooler will now be known as the Health Hub. The watercooler has had a great reputation as the social spot in the office—the place where coworkers gather to share the latest news and office updates. Now that everyone seems to get their news from news websites or social media, I’d like to reenergize the watercooler’s role in the home and office by emphasizing its important role in dispensing healthy hydration. Beverage Marketing Corporation’s (BMC) preliminary statistics for 2018 reveal that the home and office delivery (HOD) segment of the bottled water industry again registered growth. Projected numbers show HOD volume increasing to over 1.4 million gallons, with retail sales at $1.8 million—a 2.6 percent increase over 2017 numbers. (BMC’s final 2018 bottled water statistics will be published in the July/August issue of Bottled Water Reporter.) Yes, HOD’s growth is at a slower pace than PET, but it continues to inch upwards— and the more homes and offices we get into, the better. We have an incredible advantage over our competition: our customers invite us into their homes and work spaces. On a regular basis, our HOD route salespeople meet face-to-face with our customers. That interaction provides an opportunity for real relationship building— where we can educate the public about the benefits of water consumption. In addition, the watercooler’s physical presence in the home and office offers bottled water companies a central location to promote bottled water facts. As we head into summer, I encourage members to think of new ways they can employ their route salespeople to educate consumers about bottled water’s role in a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps create leave-behind collateral that your reps can hand over to their company contacts. I love the idea of bottleneck flyers that contain different probottled water messages your clients can read as they fill up their cups or soup mugs at the cooler, with a link to your social media platforms for more healthy hydration information. Or placing a QR code on the side of your watercooler that people can scan with their smartphones to discover a webpage on your site listing the Top 10 Reason to Drink More Water—and maybe even a discount code for their next order. If you have a bottled water education strategy that works, please think about sharing it with IBWA. When we work together to promote water consumption—and the role bottled water plays in helping consumers met their healthy hydration goals—the entire industry benefits.


International Bottled Water Association OFFICERS Chairman Lynn Wachtmann, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc.. Vice Chairman Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution Treasurer Brian Hess, Niagara Bottling LLC Immediate Past Chairwoman Shayron Barnes-Selby, DS Services of America, Inc.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Shayron Barnes-Selby, DS Services of America, Inc. Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Philippe Caradec, Danone Waters of America Tara Carraro, Nestlé Waters North America Jason Chambers, Mountain Brook Water Andy Eaton, Eurofins Eaton Analytical Brian Hess, Niagara Bottling LLC Doug Hidding, Blackhawk Molding Co. Scott Hoover, Roaring Spring Bottling Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Kari Mondt, Allied Purchasing Greg Nemec, Premium Waters, Inc. Dennis Rivard, Crystal Mountain Products, Inc. Bryan Shinn, WG America Company Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution Louis Vittorio, Jr., EarthRes Group, Inc. Lynn Wachtmann, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc. William Patrick Young, Absopure Water Co., Inc.

IBWA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman Lynn Wachtmann, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc. Shayron Barnes-Selby, DS Services of America, Inc. Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Philippe Caradec, Danone Waters of America Tara Carraro, Nestlé Waters North America C.R. Hall, Hall’s Culligan Brian Hess, Niagara Bottling LLC Henry R. Hidell, III, Hidell International Scott Hoover, Roaring Spring Bottling Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Bryan Shinn, WG America Company Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution William Patrick Young, Absopure Water Co., Inc.

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Communications Committee Julia Buchanan, Niagara Bottling, LLC Audrey Krupiak, WG America Company Education Committee Glen Davis, Absopure Water Co., Inc. Douglas R. Hupe, Aqua Filter Fresh Environmental Sustainability Committee Jeff Davis, Blackhawk Molding Co. Government Relations Committee Viola Johnson Jacobs, DS Services of America, Inc. Derieth Sutton, Niagara Bottling LLC. Membership Committee Marge Eggie, Polymer Solutions International Kelley Goshay, DS Services of America, Inc. State and Regional Associations Committee Joe Cimino, ChoiceH2O

Lynn Wachtmann IBWA Chairman 2



Supplier and Convention Committee Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Technical Committee Andy Eaton, Eurofins Eaton Analytical

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE HOD: BACKBONE OF THE INDUSTRY Like any business, the home and office delivery (HOD) segment of the bottled water industry has its challenges. With the national unemployment rate hovering around 4 percent, bottlers continue to face obstacles when hiring for the route salesperson position. Our cover story, “Reliable HOD Route Salespeople: How Do You Find Them—and How Do You Keep Them?” (p.10), takes a look at the candidate field to understand why this position is so hard to fill. The reasons range from the fact that the largest member of the U.S. labor force— millennials—have distinct qualities they want in a job (and they have career options) to the lack of candidates with a commercial driver’s license. IBWA discusses these challenges with a few bottler members and learns the innovative strategies they are employing to hire—and keep—route sales reps. On a recent episode of IBWA’s podcast—“H2O In The Know”—we discussed with marketing expert Jim Karrh how HOD and other bottlers can enhance their brand messaging and make their products stand out among the competition. In "How to 'Manage the Message' in Your Marketing Efforts" (p.15), we present an abridged transcript of that discussion.


International Bottled Water Association BOTTLED WATER REPORTER is published for: International Bottled Water Association 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650 Alexandria, VA 22314-2973. Tel: 703.683.5213 Fax: 703.683.4074

IBWA STAFF President Joe Doss Vice President of Education, Science, and Technical Relations Robert R. Hirst Vice President of Communications Jill Culora Vice President of Government Relations Cory Martin Director of Conventions, Trade Shows, and Meetings Michele Campbell Director of Government Relations J.P. Toner

Did you know that the HOD market makes up a little over 10 percent of bottled water’s volume share (with single-use PET holding the majority at 70 percent)? Bill Bruce, the former editor of H2O Europe, Bottledwaterworld, and Refreshment magazines, has a suggestion on how to increase that percentage. In "Increase Sales By Making Water More Interesting" (p.19), he advises investing more in ancillary products to help increase trips to the watercooler. According to Bruce, “expanding your offerings to a ‘captive’ audience just makes plain economic sense.”

Director of Science and Research Al Lear

In our Communications column (p.26), we continue the conversation on the important role HOD salespeople play in the bottled water industry—and, based on the nomination letters of former IBWA Route Salesperson of the Year winners, we offer suggestions on the communication skills necessary to be a success. We switch gears with the Government Relations column (p.24) to discuss another important topic: the increasing scrutiny of plastics. And we provide an update on the progress of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including the announcement that members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have been selected, in the Technical Update column (p.28).

Communications Coordinator Chris Torres

As always, I hope you find the articles and information provided in this issue of Bottled Water Reporter enlightening and helpful. Please let us know if you have any article suggestions or would like to contribute text to an upcoming issue.

Director of Communications Sabrina E. Hicks Manager of Member Services Cheryl Bass

Education and Technical Programs Coordinator Linda Alfakir Executive Assistant Patrice Ward Bottled Water Reporter Layout and Design Rose McLeod Tel: 315.447.4385 Editor Sabrina E. Hicks

Joe Doss IBWA President




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IBWA Holds Spring Fly-In; Members Meet With Several New Members of Congress On March 27, 2019, IBWA Government Relations Committee Co-chairs Derieth Sutton (Niagara Bottling, Inc.) and Viola Johnson Jacobs (DS Services of America) and IBWA PAC Chair Robert Smith (Grand Springs Distribution) visited 18 congressional offices to discuss healthy hydration issues and the industry’s support of the DRIVE Safe Act. IBWA members and staff shared information about the bottled water industry’s efforts to ensure the inclusion of healthy hydration messaging in the forthcoming 2020 Dietary Guidelines 6



for Americans (DGAs), as well as support for including a water icon on the MyPlate nutritional graphic. Language was included in the 2015 DGAs that promoted water consumption in place of less healthy drink options, and IBWA is now working with the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that water continues to be recommended as a healthy beverage option. IBWA informed members of Congress and their staff

that because the DGAs are promoting water, it should also be included on the MyPlate graphic as a reminder to Americans that water should be a part of a healthy and balanced meal. IBWA also asked congressional offices to support the DRIVE Safe Act, which is legislation that would allow 18- to 20-year-old drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive across state lines, pending the completion of a 400-hour apprenticeship program. Currently, 18- to 20-yearold drivers with a CDL

can only drive intrastate. Allowing those individuals to drive interstate during and after taking the 400-hour apprenticeship program will help address the severe driver shortage that bottlers and other manufacturers now face. If you have any questions concerning IBWA’s position on the DRIVE Safe Act, or are interested in learning about IBWA’s next Hill Day, contact IBWA Vice President of Government Relations Cory Martin: cmartin@



IBWA Hall of Fame Member Ted Sands Passes Away

IBWA Hall of Fame member Ted Sands, 90, founder of Sands and Associates, died on March 26, 2019. He will be remembered for his years of dedicated consulting work within the bottled water industry. Ted began his career at Arrowhead Water in 1948, where he later became senior vice president of Arrowhead/Coca Cola Bottling. He went on to establish his consultancy in Santa Barbara, California, in 1975. While working as a consultant, Ted helped many of his clients across the world grow their bottled water business, from source to market. The U.S. Department of Defense also called on Ted for his expertise when it was in need of assistance in directing crucial water matters during Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s. During his career, Ted served on the IBWA Board of Directors, and he also served on the boards of the Sons of the American Revolution and the University of Redlands, which is where he received his MBA degree. In addition to serving on the IBWA Board, through the years Ted was a member of the IBWA Government Relations, Supplier, Technical, Awards, Ted Sands International Relations, and Membership committees. Ted’s many achievements and contributions to IBWA and the bottled water industry were recognized in 1999 when the association inducted him into the Bottled Water Hall of Fame. Ted, who was born in South Dakota, was also an Army veteran. He is survived by his wife, Doris, who often joined him at IBWA meetings; his son, Christopher; daughters, Janet, Elaine, Lori, Katie, and Heather; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and his sister, Helen. A memorial service was held on March 30 in Goleta, California.


Three IBWA Bottler Members Win at the 2019 Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting

During the 2019 Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, which was held February 21-24, 2019, three IBWA bottlers earned high honors in a few of the bottled water categories. Grand Springs won second place overall in the Best Bottled Water category. Mountain Valley Spring Water won first place in the Best Sparkling Water category—and won two awards in a People’s Choice category, winning

first and third place for Best Flavored Essence Sparkling Water. Berkeley Springs Water won first place for Best Purified Water. Most of the categories were judged by 10 media judges, who spent hours tasting and selecting from waters sourced in 14 states, five Canadian provinces, and 11 foreign countries. “It was another wonderful year for the longest running and largest water

tasting in the world,” said Arthur von Wiesenberger, moderator and water master of the event. “Berkeley Springs is the ‘Academy Awards’ of water.” Visit winners to read a full recap and review a winner list from the 2019 Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting. For more information about the event, visit

MAY/JUN 2019




FDA Releases Second Installment of Draft Guidance for FSMA Intentional Adulteration Rule The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released the second of three installments of its draft guidance to support compliance with the Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration (IA) rule. Under the IA rule, the last of the major FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules to be released, food facilities must develop and implement a food defense plan that identifies their significant vulnerabilities and mitigation strategies to address those vulnerabilities, and they must take steps to ensure those mitigation strategies are working. FDA issued the IA rule on May 27, 2016. The compliance date for large facilities is July 26, 2019. Facilities that qualify as small businesses (i.e., businesses that employ fewer than 500 fulltime equivalent employees) must comply with the rule by July 27, 2020. Very small businesses (defined for this purpose as those averaging less than $10 million in sales per year during the three-year period preceding the applicable calendar year) are exempt from the rule, except that upon request they must provide documentation to show that the facility meets the exemption. The compliance date for these facilities to maintain such documentation is July 26, 2021.

FDA’s Draft Guidance is intended to facilitate compliance for those facilities covered by the IA rule. When it is completed, the draft guidance will consist of the following chapters: 1. The Food Defense Plan 2. Vulnerability Assessment to Identify Significant Vulnerabilities and Actionable Process Steps 3. Mitigation Strategies for Actionable Process Steps 4. Mitigation Strategies Management Components: Food Defense Monitoring 5. Mitigation Strategies Management Components: Food Defense Corrective Actions 6. Mitigation Strategies Management Components: Food Defense Verification 7. Reanalysis 8. Education, Training, or Experience 9. Records The second installment of the draft guidance incorporates the previous chapters and provides new content addressing a vulnerability assessment approach using three elements in the regulation: • potential public health impact • degree of physical access to the product • ability of an attacker to successfully contaminate the product.

This installment also includes information on employee education and training required for the following: • individuals who perform activities required by Subpart C (e.g., food defense monitoring) • individuals assigned to an actionable process step • individuals who perform or oversee the preparation of the food defense plan, the vulnerability assessment, identification and explanation of the mitigation strategies, or reanalysis of the food defense plan • supervisors. The draft guidance also explains that FDA is not establishing minimum standards for competency and does not intend to routinely assess the qualifications of food defense qualified individuals. Instead, FDA will focus on the adequacy of the food defense plan. FDA held a public meeting on April 17, 2019, to discuss comments on this draft guidance. For more information on this public meeting, visit default.aspx?EventID=2559292.


Newly Formed DGAC Holds First Public Meeting Following selection of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted the first public meeting of the committee on March 28-29. The committee discussed its charter, operations, and timeline, along with the response to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study on the process to establish the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). The committee also reviewed the topics and questions it will examine in the coming months. The DGAC will operate with six subcommittees: pregnancy and lactation, birth to 24 months, beverages (including water) and added sugars, dietary fats and seafood, frequency of eating, and dietary 8



patterns. The subcommittees will post monthly updates of their work on The next DGAC meeting will be held July 10-11, 2019, in Washington, DC. The public and interested third parties are invited to provide oral comments. Future meeting details can be found on Both USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are encouraging public participation in the 2020 DGAs process. An ongoing public comment period opened on March 12, 2019. It will remain open until the committee submits its scientific report to the secretaries of USDA and HHS in 2020.

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Re lia ble HOD ROUTE SALESPEOPLE How Do You Find Them—and How Do You Keep Them? By Chris Torres

When it comes to finding and keeping reliable home and office delivery (HOD) route salespeople, adaptation is the name of the game for the bottled water industry. The HOD segment continues to achieve incremental growth year over year, but bottlers are finding it increasingly hard to hire employees who act as the core part of the business: route sales representatives. Above all, route salespeople are the face of the bottled water business. Their daily interactions and hard-earned relationships with customers have been— and continue to be—the heartbeat of the HOD business. But changes in the labor force, as well as technological advancements, mean companies today are challenged by the hiring—and retention—process for reliable route drivers to do the job, and people in the industry say there’s an assortment of reasons why it’s more of a struggle than ever.

MAY/JUN 2019



Today’s Candidate Landscape Millennials now make up the majority in America’s current labor force, having surpassed Generation X in working or looking for work in 2017—56 million to 53 million, according to the Pew Research Center ( MillennialsHoldMajorityInAmericanLaborForce). Baby boomers were at 41 million. Representing more than 1 in 3 working Americans (35 percent), millennials are also earning bachelor’s degrees more than any other generation ( In a segment of 24 to 29-yearolds, 40 percent of millennials had a bachelor’s degree in 2016, compared to 32 percent of Generation Xers in 2000, 26 percent of baby boomers in 1985, and 16 percent of the silent generation in 1964. When you combine the fact that more people than ever before are earning four-year degrees with a national unemployment rate continuing to hover around 4 percent, the likelihood is high that potential candidates may be less interested in skilled labor jobs such as commercial driving, according to Neil Mairs, president of Solutions Recruiting, a Virginia-based company that specializes in helping businesses locate and evaluate candidates for job openings. “Candidates are going to have choices,” he says. “There’s not enough people for the jobs that [companies] want to fill. If you’re looking for CDL [commercial driver’s license] drivers, it further complicates things. In general, if you look at skilled labor trends, we’ve got a lot more people retiring than there are those coming into the skilled labor market.” Mairs believes the current challenge employers face in placing millennials in skilled labor jobs has more to do with maturity than a representation of the generation’s characteristics. He says that millennials, like previous generations, value corporate benefits such as having a mentor to help guide their development and career path. However, Mairs says that millennials do have distinct qualities they want in a job—for example, a corporate mission that fits their view of the world and the opportunity to make a difference in their community. He adds that millennials also expect more immediate gratification from—and feedback on—their work. For HOD businesses, that means trying to find ways to adjust the responsibilities and benefits of route driving jobs, but, even after making some job description adjustments, finding reliable drivers still isn’t easy. According to Douglas R. Hupe, route sales/general manager of Aqua Filter Fresh, “It has not been fun trying to find people the last two to three years. And while finding 12



people has become very, very hard, retaining them is even harder.” Hupe grew up in and around the bottled water business. So, he’s personally observed how in years past route salespeople made a career out of the job—but he says that doesn’t happen as often today. He remarks that the hiring process has changed as well. Interview spots for open driving positions were once filled by word-of-mouth and acquaintances of current employees, but the interviewing process today involves job boards—and thus the quality of candidates varies drastically. Hupe explains that he receives resumes from candidates who have as much as 30 years of experience driving other commercial vehicles (such as tractor trailers) and people with no relevant experience at all. The interview process shakes out any applicants who aren’t up for the job. Candidates shy away from becoming a route salesperson due to company expectations and the demands of the job. In addition, candidates notice that other industries that have openings for CDL drivers don’t require as much from them, Hupe says. Those other driving jobs have less responsibilities and involve little to no interaction with customers. In fact, they could be as simple as sitting and waiting for the truck to be loaded, then traveling to a final destination where it is unloaded. “Our business,” as Hupe says,“is a little bit different.” Bottlers in the HOD business like Bryan Shinn, principal of WG America Company, have noticed another trend: the increasing average age of their drivers year after year. “Young people coming out of school aren’t necessarily attracted to this type of work,” Shinn says. “When you combine the fact that we have an aging HOD route driver with physical challenges of the work, that gets harder to balance.” Shinn says he’s noticed that younger candidates tend to be more interested in flexibility, time off, and salary compensation as opposed to commission, where they’re taking out the time to unload their entire truck in a day and take advantage of bonus opportunities to make additional money. A similar trend has been noticed by Hupe. “It used to be people coming in wanting to make more money,” explains Hupe. “They had families, or they were looking to make an extra buck. Now it’s, ‘OK. What time can I start? What time can I finish? What’s my hourly wage? Do I have to work any more than I have to?’”

Know What You’re Looking For To help with hiring the right candidate, Shinn explains that HOD executives must ask a series of questions:


Route sa les representative,

A“ ” IS HEAVY ON RELATIONSHIP BUILDING AND HAS SIGNIFICANT INTERACTION WITH CUSTOMERS. What kind of organization are you? Are you hiring delivery drivers or are you hiring route salespeople? Those questions, Shinn says, aren’t new to the HOD business, but they’ve become increasingly important in today’s climate. He describes a “delivery driver” as someone who simply checks off their list of deliveries every day, with minimal interaction with customers. Those drivers tend to produce limited sales. A “route sales representative,” on the other hand, is heavy on relationship building and has significant interaction with customers.

that require drivers to have a CDL. Both Hupe and Shinn say they’ve been acquiring more non-CDL vehicles in recent years. Hupe says the lease will expire this year on four of his company’s CDL trucks, and they’ll be replacing them with four non-CDL vehicles.

Companies may strive to have all their drivers be “sales representatives,” but Shinn says there’s another issue to consider. A company’s approach could be a benefit for drivers who may seek less interaction: Will your company conduct “traditional routing” or “dynamic routing”?

Shinn says his company typically hires non-CDL drivers, trains them, and helps those drivers attain their CDL— and the company has had success with this approach. However, a challenge with that strategy is that the company must supply both CDL and non-CDL vehicles. NonCDL vehicles are smaller, and new drivers who don’t have a CDL are restricted to driving those vehicles until they attain their CDL license. Due to wait times and scheduling, it can take months for a driver to complete a CDL program. However, it can also take a new driver months to complete all in-house, company training.

Shinn explains traditional routing involves a driver simply checking off a list of customers each day and making deliveries to people on that list every two weeks. The driver delivers new bottles, retrieves the empty bottles, and provides customers with their bill before proceeding to the next stop. With dynamic routing, customers have more control and interaction with their deliveries. They manage their accounts online and can add or delete products from their order a day before delivery. “That changes the routing dynamic and also changes the hiring dynamic of HOD drivers,” Shinn says.

Before a new route sales representative is hired, Hupe says candidates at Aqua Filter Fresh are given real-world experience to see if the job is a good fit for them. After passing the interview portion of the hiring process, a final candidate goes on a two-day route run with two veteran drivers. This experience helps the candidate learn from different perspectives and pick up lessons from each to see what strategies work best for them. In the past, there have been candidates who did the pre-hire routes and withdrew themselves from consideration, as they determined the job wasn’t a great fit, Hupe explains.

“If you go more toward a dynamic platform, there isn’t much of a [customer] relationship. The relationship is between them and your [company’s] website, and the driver just comes to deliver it. Maybe dynamic routing can move somebody closer to a driver mentality versus a sales rep mentality. Understanding all those moving components really dictates what kind of drivers you’re hiring.”

Making of an Ideal Candidate

CDL vs. No CDL Another area where some HOD businesses are shifting concerns the truck fleet. For years, companies have used vehicles

Ultimately, what makes an ideal candidate for the route sales position? For starters, candidates need to be in good physical shape—because throughout the work day they are lifting HOD bottles continuously, and they weigh around 42 pounds each. Having a good personality and the ability to hold a brief, minutes-long conversation with customers to potentially build relationships is still the “bread and butter” trait HOD businesses seek in a route driver. Obviously, a safe driving record is essential. But candidates can come from all types of work backgrounds. MAY/JUN 2019



RELIABLE HOD Keeping Drivers Motivated

TACKLING THE DRIVER SHORTAGE IBWA is being proactive in its strategy to support legislation that would help alleviate the U.S. driver shortage. First, IBWA supports the DRIVE Safe Act, a bill that would allow 18- to 20-year-olds who already have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive interstate roads pending completion of a 400-hour apprenticeship program. Currently, drivers under the age of 21 cannot legally drive a commercial motor vehicle across state lines. These drivers can only operate intrastate, making it difficult for interstate carriers to enter into long-term, valuable relationships with them. The DRIVE Safe Act addresses the driver shortage as it enables younger drivers to earn their CDL through an apprenticeship program. Second, IBWA continues to support increasing truck weight limits on the U.S. federal highway system. Increasing truck weight limits has several benefits. For example, a 91,000 lbs truck with six axles has a one-foot reduction in stopping distance. These trucks would also reduce fuel consumption by 109 million gallons and reduce carbon emissions by 2.4 billion pounds per year. Life-cycle pavement costs can be reduced by as much as 4.2 percent on federal interstate highways, and annual congestion costs could be reduced by $358 million.

Hupe notes that he’s hired former chefs, people from the construction industry, as well as college graduates. “It’s more about personality and if you’re willing to work,” says Hupe. “If you’re going to put in the hours and get the job done, that’s what we’re looking for.” While the physical demands of the job are taxing, HOD drivers must also be mentally sharp. When not lifting and moving products from the truck, time on the road and in traffic can wear on a route salesperson. “You’re dealing with traffic going in and out of town, you’re dealing with security guards, you’re dealing with people who have road rage, and everyone has a camera in front of them, so people might be looking to make you mad and get you on camera,” cautions Hupe. Technology has also evolved and become more integrated within the job. Veteran drivers aren’t necessarily fans of operating any type of route optimization software, Shinn says. That’s because if a company uses dynamic routing, then the computer would dictate the time and location for deliveries during the day, which negates the use of drivers’ self-navigation skills.




To help drivers work through the physical and mental grind on their routes, Hupe notes that his company provides them with coffee, snacks, and energy drinks. Drivers at WG America are encouraged to pull over on the side of the road for a lunch break or to hydrate. Monitoring all items on a delivery truck including products, a working dolly, and other ancillary items before taking off on a route is an important task for drivers because it can dictate the length and pace of their workday. “We tell them they’re the captains of their own ship,” Hupe explains. “They’re good as long as the job gets done and the customer is happy.” To help keep drivers motivated and engaged, Hupe says his company provides drivers with food, and, after delivering through rough conditions (such as winter storms), they often give drivers gift cards for their efforts. It’s a change in tactics, as drivers have shown less interest in earning rewards in other ways (such as sales contests), he says. Other reward systems, such as safe driving bonuses, can also help to keep drivers motivated. In addition, HOD companies, like other businesses, have become more flexible with time off and vacation. For example, some companies give drivers the flexibility to start their workday within a certain window of time. Shinn says he’s also noticed firsthand that bringing in newer trucks has helped make younger drivers more comfortable with the job. Shinn explains that his company has had success with holding on to reliable drivers due to some of the organizational shifts they’ve put in place and that drivers who don’t show a particular level of enthusiasm tend to move on to other work in as little as six months. When people do leave, it is because they don’t like the work, not because they opposed the pay structure, Shinn says. To find more reliable candidates, Mairs suggests that companies need to find ways to be more proactive, including traveling to events where they might find suitable candidates. That may include participating in “Career Day” events or job fairs in high schools, says Mairs. Sending company employees back to their high schools to present on what it’s like working as an HOD driver is another possibility. “It can be powerful,” Mairs says. “And the job might not fit everybody, but you’re going to get people in that classroom that realize there might be a career opportunity for them that they hadn’t considered before.” Chris Torres is IBWA’s communications coordinator. Contact him at

HOW TO "MANAGE THE MESSAGE" IN YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS IBWA’s podcast—“H2O In The Know”—recently discussed with marketing expert Jim Karrh how bottled water companies can enhance messaging to make their brand stand out in a crowded market. The abridged transcript below provides insight for HOD bottlers and others on the benefits of managing your message—both externally and internally. H2O IN THE KNOW: In the presentations that you give around the country, you talk about the need for people and companies to manage the message. You even host “The Manage Your Message” podcast. In particular, you focus on why companies should always be mindful of how they engage with customers. Can you explain what you mean by managing the message?

Jim Karrh: In many ways, I define managing the message by what it is not—meaning it isn’t about your mission statement, or slogan, or traditional advertising, or promotions. It isn’t even necessarily about social media. Now, all of those things might have a role in your business, they’re important, but the reality of marketing today is that consumers and customers are driving the conversation, and the vast majority of word-of-mouth, even in this more digital age, happens offline, in everyday, normal conversation.

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H2O: Managing the message doesn’t just apply to customers. Why is it important for companies to manage the message internally?

Your everyday business messages should feel natural, not forced—and not “salesy.” Your goal is to inform and help people. Jonah Berger researched this for a book called Contagious, and he found that across industries on average, this number might blow your mind, more than 90 percent of word-of-mouth happens offline. That’s why I think about managing the message as a big growth opportunity that’s often hiding in plain sight. The bottled water industry—and especially on the home and office delivery (HOD) side—is a very personal business. Your bottler members have regular face-to-face contact with customers, and they sell something that people put in their bodies every day. It makes business sense, especially in this industry, to recognize that while you can’t control that everyday natural conversation, you can indeed manage it. If you aren’t managing those conversations, I see some bad things that can happen to the business. The first, the one that I probably hear the most is inconsistency. I call it “cowboys,” everyone is having the cowboy mentality. They’re doing things their 16



own way. Everyone’s telling their own story. The second problem that you might recognize in your business is “crickets,” like the crickets are chirping because not a whole lot is happening, which probably means you could use more people helping to tell your story and share the message. The third one that I see is sounding like everybody else, what I call “commodities.” That means your message isn’t distinctive; it isn’t different. If you’re seeing evidence of cowboys, or crickets, or commodities in your business, there’s plenty of good news. You don’t necessarily need to change your product line, or pricing, or even the people in your business—just the way that people who are close to your business talk about it. It becomes, a very solvable, manageable problem.

Karrh: Just as the industry overall is very personal in nature, the way that any of us talk about our work is also by nature very personal. Your employees—and I would also include current customers, suppliers, everyone close to the business—needs to believe in what they’re saying. You want those employees to carry a message consistently, so they need to believe, “Hey, yes. That’s us. That describes my work and my value.” Your everyday business message for actual human conversation needs to be something that feels natural, not forced, not too “salesy” as some people might say, but helps your people feel informed and helpful, and that’s something people can remember in the moment when they have the opportunity. That’s why mission statements and slogans aren’t necessarily the best foundation for equipping people internally for those everyday conversations. The message certainly shouldn’t be in conflict with your mission, vision, or advertising messages, but, instead, it needs to be translated and simplified. When I work with companies and put together their messaging, I always want to include people from lots of different perspectives and parts in the company, so we include the customerfacing employees, but also the socalled “back office.” A lot of business owners tell me a major issue for them

You have to sell your company as a great place to work at the same time you’re selling your products.

With low unemployment rates across much of the country, there’s a real squeeze on talent. A key part of companies’ growth plans is to make sure you have enough of the right internal talent in place. You have to be selling your company as a great place to work at the same time you’re selling your products. That’s why when I work with companies on their messaging, we make sure we cast a real wide net. This is something you can do yourself in your business. Don’t just confirm with only the sales and marketing teams; everyone needs to see their fingerprints on that message to some degree to know it’s a good representation of their work and their value.

H2O: Let’s talk a little bit about the characteristics of messaging. What or who do you say would make a good messenger?


these days is recruiting and retaining great employees.

When developing your messaging strategies, focus on three areas: science, social proof, and stories. as people in the middle. Some researchers call those of us in the middle “ambiverts.” They’re kind of like being ambidextrous—you can use your left hand, right hand equally well. I call them “the nimble majority” because most of us are in the middle. I am an ambivert. I do like speaking and being up on stage and being with other people—until the point when I don’t and I need to recharge. The good news is that most of us are in the middle, so most of us are naturally wired to be good messengers.

H2O: Looking a bit more broadly at the bottled water industry today, what’s the most important thing that companies should be doing, and what do you think is the biggest misstep that you see brands making today? Karrh: The first thing to acknowledge and celebrate is that the industry’s in really good place right now. There are good reasons bottled water is the most

Karrh: Good messengers come in many forms—just not necessarily in the forms that you and I have generally been taught over the years. Here’s the most notable, maybe the most surprising, answer to that question: extroverts don’t necessarily make the best messengers. Now, I had for many years assumed that extroverts were the most persuasive people, the best salespeople, and it makes sense. Extroverts get a lot of energy from talking to other people. They tend to have a pretty thick skin. They’ll make the extra call. They’ll knock on one more door. A few years ago, I saw some research with real salespeople and valid measures of their personality types. As it turns out, surprisingly to me, that when you take all the factors into account, extroverts are no better at sales than are introverts. Just as important, neither extroverts nor introverts are as effective MAY/JUN 2019



popular packaged beverage now in the United States. When I think about managing the message for bottled water, I think about very simply three areas we can talk about here real briefly. The areas are science, social proof, and stories. I think these will be winning strategies for bottlers in their markets as long as you make sure that everyone in your business is equipped. Science includes all of that great information that we know about hydration, health, appearance, and that stuff is true and that’s part of the reason for the growing and continuing popularity of bottled water. Social proof, that’s about revealing to consumers what other people like them are doing. That certainly includes the fact that bottled water now has that No.1 position among packaged beverages in the country. That can also be very effective at your individual market or a community level. If you have a leading market share, for example, in the community or communities you serve, then that’s something to just continue to reinforce because people are drawn to what people that they consider to be like them are already doing. Then stories are a big deal. It’s likely that IBWA bottlers have a treasure trove of stories about customers and their experiences with the company. I remember we used to share stories from our HOD operation years ago. To this day, I remember a story of a particular route driver whose customers just loved him. He was in a smaller community in Mississippi. There was one customer, a single, older lady he’d been making deliveries to her home for probably eight, nine years. One day that lady was not at home for her regularly scheduled delivery. Not only did she leave the door unlocked so this route driver could bring in the delivery, but she had also prepared lunch for that driver on a




paper plate that he could take with him and had written out a thank you note. How cool is something like that?

H2O: Do you think the popularity of bottled water is a trend or part of a larger shift in our lifestyle? Karrh: Well, I consider it to be a trend but in the best sense of that word. It’s not a fad. This has been building for a while. Bottled water continues to grow as a category because it fits into consumers’ lifestyles. When your product, your brand, becomes a natural and important part of everyone’s day-to-day lives, then you’re in a great position. Let’s keep that focus. Remember, we’re not a price play. We’re something that is part and parcel of people’s lives. I will just reinforce, remembering how HOD in particular has that built-in, personal connection: Do your route drivers, do your call center colleagues, do they know the things that are most important about what you do? Do they know your product line? Do they know the benefits? Does everyone in the business know those things? Again, there’s evidence from lots of other businesses that most of current customers probably don’t know all the things that they can buy from you. That applies to employees as well. I remember a few years ago, I was speaking with a friend of mine who ran a national fast casual restaurant business. Of course, in the restaurant world the menu is a very literal thing. She was saying when she came in, more of her employees knew how to apply for vacation time than knew what was on the menu of their restaurants. My recommendation is to appreciate the position of the industry right now, but continue to deepen the opportunities in your community, continue to deepen the relationships with your customers,

SUBSCRIBE TO H2O IN THE KNOW Be sure to subscribe to IBWA's “H2O In The Know” podcast: • iTunes: • SoundCloud: While there, you can listen to this episode with Jim Karrh in its entirety.

and build the knowledge and the conversational fluency of your employees, making sure they know what to say and when and to whom.

Jim Karrh is a marketing consultant, coach, writer, speaker, and host of “The Manage Your Message” podcast. For more information about his podcast or the free resources he offers, visit his website (www.jimkarrh. com) or email him at jim@jimkarrh. com. If you’d like to suggest a topic to be covered on IBWA’s “H2O In The Know” podcast, contact IBWA Communications Coordinator Chris Torres at

Increase Sales By Making Water More Interesting

By Bill Bruce

Bottled water may be the No.1 packaged beverage in the United States, but it has a problem. For some people, it’s “just water” and that makes it boring. But bottled water’s “problem” might just be your opportunity to sell more water—and other products— and turn a tidier profit. If you’re in the home and office delivery (HOD) business, then giving people more and more reasons to visit the watercooler means that, ultimately, you’ll sell more water. Simple. If your business supplies point-of-use (POU) coolers (and perhaps coffee machines too), then expanding your offerings to a “captive” audience just makes plain economic sense.

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The watercooler is a health and wellness station. Wake Up Call for Watercoolers To make water more interesting, let’s start with the watercooler itself. Many manufacturers now offer in-line carbonation as an option and, for many years, most have offered chilled, ambient, and hot water features—enabling the making of coffee, tea, and lunch-time favorites such as soup or noodles. Beyond that, a new generation of pod-based machines, inspired by table-top coffee makers, began to appear a couple of years ago offering flavored and functional drinks options from a single machine. Extending your offering at, or close to, the cooler not only delivers convenience and choice to consumers but also creates an opportunity to make more money. There are several IBWA supplier members that can provide you with the latest and greatest offerings in watercooler products. It’s worth checking out what innovative technology is available and reviewing how you can use it to make the watercooler experience more interesting and engaging for your customers.

less payments, micro-markets, and other developments in vending and office coffee services just might make the “old fashioned” cooler less attractive to younger users. However, the cost of technology has come down as fast as its effectiveness has gone up. When considering your next fleet of coolers, there’s a lesson to be learned from the vending industry—which has already invested in touch-screens and apps. To learn more about how smart technology is revolutionizing the watercooler and other industries, read “The Shape of Things to Come” in the November/December 2018 issue of Bottled Water Reporter ( docs/bwr_nov_dec_2018_final/12). Alongside flavors and health/nutrition trends, there’s no doubt that smart technology brings measurable time and cost-saving benefits to operators and enhances the experience for users. A genuine win-win.

Water Enhancers

Choice, Convenience, and Technology


Today’s consumers want it all—choice and convenience—and they want it now. So, if you don’t provide choice, then thirsty (and hungry) cooler users might go elsewhere, perhaps to the nearest vending machine or corner store. Because consumer habits change fast these days, there is a danger that they might not come back.

Adding flavor—and sometimes functionality—at the point of consumption does seem like the simplest of ideas and is sure to increase water consumption. Water enhancers provide the perfect solution.

In the same way that online shopping threatens traditional, brick-and-mortar retail shops, the advent of contact-

HOD companies have no shortage of flavor options to add to their product offerings. IBWA member



The Sqwincher Corporation offers single-serve flavor packages designed to fit an on-the-go lifestyle. In addition, Kraft launched its pocket-sized concentrated water enhancer with MiO in 2011. Dozen of competitors soon expanded the category worldwide—and while some have already disappeared from the market, others like MiO now take the concept way beyond flavor by offering added value functional options, including vitamins, caffeine, and electrolytes. Alongside functionality, natural, zero-calorie, and sugar-free options seem to stand the biggest chance of sustained success for the category. For example, with the slogan “from water to WOW!,” Wisdom Natural Brands fields zero-calorie steviasweetened SweetLeaf WaterDrops, while Stur also markets a stevia-sweetened, all-natural water enhancer range.

Coffee, Tea, and Flavor Adding coffee and tea alongside coolers has been delivering an element of making water more interesting for years. While some office coffee services are operated as standalone businesses, many are complementary to coolers— improving route management and enhancing customer relationships. Some players have even rebranded as “coffee & water” service companies. If you’re in the business of visiting premises frequently to top up essential consumables, then nothing more than imagination is needed to add value for your customers, their end-users, and your business. The success of pod-based systems has helped fuel the creation of relatively new units. These all-in-one beverage systems dispense chilled water from a 5-gallon bottle, make barista quality coffee, and provide hot water for tea, noodles, and soup.


For the third consecutive year, bottled water is the most popular packaged beverage in America. Breakfast and Snacking at Work HOD businesses shouldn’t neglect consumption occasions for increased revenue. It’s a fact that a growing number of office workers no longer eat breakfast at home; instead, they eat the most important meal of the day either on the way to, or at, work. So, why not capitalize on that trend and give them all they need right beside the cooler? You’re already visiting the premises frequently enough to keep supplies topped up—and the alternative to not meeting this need is to encourage users to visit the nearest vending machine or leave the office to go to the nearest coffee shop. Why give the business to someone else when the opportunity is yours for the taking? According to a recent report by Zion Market Research, the global on-the-go breakfast market is expected to reach $1.7 million by 2024. Grabbing a slice of that business could be a margin improving strategy. In 2017, an online survey, commissioned by Welch’s Global Ingredients Group—conducted among 300 male and female millennials— revealed that the vast majority American millennials eat a snack in place of a standard meal at least once a week. Researchers questioned snackers between the ages of 18 and 35 about

SPARKLING SUCCESS If your coolers don’t deliver a carbonation option, but your consumers still crave fizz, offering small-pack sparkling water seems an obvious decision, rather than incentivizing them to walk away from the cooler and grab a fizzy drink elsewhere. Many of the established bottled water brands offer sparkling options, and there are plenty of flavored options too. Nestlé Waters North America debuted six regional sparkling spring water brands in 2018. Other IBWA bottlers—such as Mountain Brook Water, Mountain Valley Spring Company, Niagara Bottling, and Premium Waters—produce sparkling options HOD companies can benefit from by adding them to their product offerings. In addition, Talking Rain has Sparkling Ice, and The Coca-Cola Company fields Dasani Sparkling. Last year, PepsiCo launched its fizzy flavored water Bubly to compete with the category leader LaCroix. Flavor certainly adds interest to water, so look out for current and up-coming flavor trends to add to delivery offerings. Consumers increasingly expect unusual flavors and blends, with a growing focus on exotic fruits, spices, and botanicals. But it is still “natural” that leads the way—and drinks that are free from artificial ingredients fit well beside the healthy, hydrating watercooler.

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The watercooler was doing “social” long before Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. DIET AND FREE-FROM DRINKS From the rise of free-from and veganism to the relentless advance of the popularity of protein, consumer’s tastes and demands are constantly evolving. Aiming to profit from the surge in non-dairy “milk” drinks, PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats Company has launched a new oatbased drinks line called Quaker Oat Beverage, while Mooala has expanded its dairy-free beverage portfolio with the launch of an organic coconut oat milk, with zero sugar and 50 calories per serving. Danone's Silk Soymilk is a popular non-dairy alternative, and the company also offers almond, cashew, and coconut milks, and soy and almond creamers and yogurts. US beverage brand Koia has launched a line of keto-friendly drinks as it aims to offer consumers who follow the very lowcarb diet, keto, or ketogenic diet a convenient, sweet, indulgent drink. This follows the success of its superfood enriched Fruit Fusions range. And then there’s protein. It’s everywhere—from snack bars and dairy to drinks. Isopur recently launched Cocotein, which blends coconut water with Isopure 100 percent pure whey protein isolate. On-trend, it is lactose and gluten free, with no added sugar. Others in the category include Trimino Brands Company’s Trimino protein infused water, Wiser Foods’ Jali all natural protein water, and TruSource protein water.

their habits and preferences. When asked how often they eat a snack instead of having breakfast, lunch, or dinner, 92 percent of them said they do so “a minimum of once a week.” Half of the respondents said they “replace a meal with a snack at least four times a week,” while more than a quarter (26 percent) said they “do so at least seven times a week.” According to the survey, American millennials are snacking both at home and on the go, with more than a third (34 percent) eating snacks in the car and almost half consuming snacks in the workplace. Those findings are good news for brands that make breakfast snacks and breakfast replacements— and should inspire HOD companies to stock these tempting items close to the watercooler or coffee machine.

Breakfast trends to keep near the watercooler include natural, healthy foods, especially considering the rise of protein and free-from diets.

The Meaning of Cool What does a watercooler mean to an end-user? The watercooler industry isn’t about machines or technology. It’s about hydration—but it’s also about so much more. The cooler is a health and wellness station—an essential focal point for any home or office. What HOD bottlers need to remember is that you aren’t in the cooler or coffee industry, you’re in the health and wellness industry. So, making water— and the cooler—more interesting with healthy, flavorsome, and nutritious options can only reinforce that position and potentially unlock new profit centers too.




The beverage category has never lacked innovation, but recently there have been some surprising launches. Relatively new entrants include hemp and cannabis infused drinks, such as Oki’s Phivida, which is infused with active hemp extract, and Canada’s Flow Glow Alkaline Spring Water, which is infused with CBD, botanicals, and antioxidants. There have been many new products aimed at adults who want zero-alcohol “adult” drinks, including The Coca-Cola Company’s Bar Nøne, a line of bar-inspired alcohol-free adult sparkling drinks, released through its Venturing & Emerging Brands unit.


NEW BEVERAGE CATEGORIES worth mentioning the growing trend towards “spiked” sparkling water drinks. Aimed at those seeking healthier options in the ready-to-drink alcohol space Fifco (formally known as North American Breweries) recently launched Pura Still, the Boston Beer Company’s Truly Spiked & Sparkling brand has added a spiked roséflavored sparkling water called Truly Rosé, and Constellation Brands recently added a line of cocktail-inspired Svedka spiked seltzers.

While perhaps it’s not really an option to introduce alcoholic drinks to the workplace, it is

Let’s not forget that the watercooler was doing “social” long before Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Folks have always gathered around the cooler to share news and views. If trends are going to catch on in the office, then they’re just as likely to start at the cooler as they are via a smartphone. It follows that the more reasons you can provide to make the cooler the must-go-to focal point of the office—by making water more interesting—the better for users and the better for your business.

Allied Purchasing Partner With Allied to Lower Your Costs

Bill Bruce is a UK-based freelance journalist who knows a thing or two about water. He is the former editor of H20 Europe, Bottledwaterworld, Water Innovation, Cooler Innovation, Cooler Plus, and Refreshment magazines.

Member Owned Not-For-Profit Purchasing Co-Op Established in 1937

Contact Kari Mondt 800-247-5956 and ask how you can become a member of Allied Purchasing

MAY/JUN 2019



The Battle Over Plastics By J.P. Toner, IBWA Director of Government Relations

More than 50 years ago, the movie character Mr. McGuire wanted to give "one word" to a young Dustin Hoffman—a word that was destined for a great future: plastics. If you don’t remember this scene from “The Graduate,” you can view it on YouTube ( It turns out, Mr. McGuire was correct: Plastics do play an important role in everyday life. But plastic's path to success has not been an easy one, and today plastic is coming under increased scrutiny. Prior to 2019, the burgeoning battle over plastics was waged at a very local 24



level. Small towns and a few colleges attempted to remove certain plastic items via bans or restrictions, most unsuccessfully. This year, however, the heat has turned up considerably. Attempts to ban, restrict, tax, and outright eliminate many single-serve plastic items has increased exponentially. Bottled water has been a significant target in this ongoing battle. By March 2019, more than 50 pieces of legislation have been introduced in the states to tackle the perceived problem of single-use plastics. The bills target a wide range of items—everything from

plastic bags to straws to food containers to bottled water. More and more localities are becoming concerned about how plastics impact the planet. How did we arrive at this point, where use of a plastic utensil, or plastic bag, or plastic beverage bottle is frowned upon? Many factors came into play: a lack of public awareness about waste management and recycling; the media promoting stories that leave out important facts (e.g., coverage of the Pacific garbage patch); Asian recycling facilities completely shutting off U.S.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS markets; and consumers’ increased desire for portable, on-the-go everyday items. Separating reality from perception becomes an important weapon in fighting the war against plastic.


Single-Use vs. Single-Serve In practically every bill, bylaw, or ordinance that attempts to reign in plastics, you’ll come across the term “single-use.” Proponents of these anti-plastic efforts like to portray common plastic items as single-use. Arguing that they get used by the consumer, thrown away, and never used again. Manufacturers of those items prefer the term “singleserve,” and there is a big difference. Industry sees these plastic objects as reusable—either in a similar form or as another plastic item. That circular economy relies upon a strong and efficient recycling stream, but there’s a problem. The main argument made by Asian countries refusing to accept post-consumer plastic from the United States specifically addresses the exceedingly high levels of contamination within the plastic recycling stream. That contamination makes it nearly impossible to produce new plastic materials of value or, more specifically for the bottled water industry, rPET that can be used to make new bottles. Single-stream recycling may collect more recyclables and be easier for consumers to use, but it has elevated contamination levels, which makes the production of food-grade rPET difficult. Even bottle deposit programs don’t always capture and provide the best material. This is why education has a vital role to play: The public needs a refresher course on what should go in the bin and what shouldn’t.

The End of Recycling? For decades, we have been taught the importance and necessity of recycling.

It’s hard to image it not being a part of our everyday lives. But that is quickly becoming a reality in some parts of the country. A recent article in The Atlantic cited several communities that have stopped their recycling programs. The reason? Cost. As materials began to pile up and no market for waste haulers to sell to (since China implemented its National Sword policy, refusing to accept post-consumer plastic from the United States), the price for collection of plastics and other recyclables has skyrocketed. Not to mention the additional cost for adding what’s being deposited into landfills, which recycling was intended to avoid. Unfortunately, a quick fix isn’t on the horizon.

The Silver Lining Bottled water has been an easy target for those wanting to demonstrate the flaws in our plastic use. Adversaries argue that a commodity available from your tap (lead and other contamination issues notwithstanding) sold in plastic bottles that could end up in the trash is the definition of waste. But recent developments shine a more positive light on bottled water. In Hawaii, legislation that would have banned the sale, use, and distribution of all single-use plastic beverage containers was amended to remove language onerous to the bottled water industry. While not interested in other beverages packaged in plastic, two state departments were concerned about removing access to bottled water. The concept of an island state that regularly

faces natural disasters being without bottled water was unrealistic. In addition, the small town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is now having second thoughts after passing a bylaw that would ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles in the town. After voter approval, the Board of Selectmen has twice pushed back an implementation date because of issues with the town’s water supply. Also, the Board cited the lack of follow-through promised by supporters on an education campaign and the financing necessary for installation of refilling stations. Those refilling stations are not to be financed by the town; instead, the onus is on local business—which voters for the bylaw seem not to have understood. This new battle on plastics is much larger than anyone can imagine, so the bottled water industry welcomes these victories—as they help us take small steps toward solving a big problem.

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The ROI of Day-to-Day Communications Improving route sales through conversation By Sabrina E. Hicks, IBWA Director of Communications

For a while now, I’ve had the honor of overseeing IBWA’s award program, which means I’ve also had the opportunity to read all the nominations submitted for Route Salesperson of the Year. What I’ve learned from those hours of reading is that it takes a very special kind of person to be a successful home and office delivery (HOD) route salesperson for the bottled water industry. Not only do you have to meet the physical demands of the job but also you need to have great communication 26



skills to help you build rapport with customers. I’ve found that awardwinning route salespeople adhere to the following three rules.

Rule 1: Talk With Your Customers. Younger employees may excel at communicating via text message, but they probably have little experience in chatting face-to-face with customers. Because a lot of companies offer internet and social media promotions,

today’s sales reps sometimes think they don’t have to go out and personally get to know their customers in order to sell products. But they are missing out on potential profits if they don’t interact with the customers on their routes—or learn how to acquire new customers while on the road. The HOD sales representatives who best grow their customer base know the importance of striking up conversations with the people they encounter along their routes.


Some new hires might not know how to start up conversations with their customers. So, company executives need to ensure their training programs cover the important role played by conversation icebreakers. Teach new route drivers questions they can use to ignite conversations with their clients—and then make sure that training includes education on how to go from polite conversation to opportunities to make a sell. For example, if you include coffee or tea products on your trucks, instructing drivers to simply ask “Do you drink coffee or tea?” is an easy way to introduce those products to a customer who usually only orders water for their cooler. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know—and you may miss out on the chance to introduce a customer to more of your product offerings. Another great benefit from talking with customers is the trust those conversations facilitate. Former IBWA Route Salespeople of the Year share the best stories about the trust their customers have in them. One past winner’s nomination letter included a lovely description of how an older HOD customer would unlock her door for water delivery and leave a homemade sandwich for the route sales rep on the counter as a thank you for carrying the water into her house while she was not at home. Those types of relationships don’t happen overnight—and they don’t happen if a route salesperson doesn’t talk with his or her customers.

Rule 2: Know the Products If you employ “delivery” personnel, then you’re probably most concerned about hiring people with good driving records who can take on the physicality of the job. However, if you are hiring route salespeople, you need more from your employees than just meeting the qualifications of a delivery person; it’s vital that you educate them about your

AWARD-WINNING ROUTE SALESPEOPLE KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING TO KNOW THEIR CUSTOMERS. product offerings. Award-winning route sales reps increase their sales year-over-year by knowing the products their company offers—and making recommendations of new products to consumers. One Route Salesperson of the Year related a story of how he walked into a home for a delivery and noticed that a sparkling water bottle was placed on the kitchen counter. He asked his customer if she was a fan of sparkling water, to which she said “Yes.” He knew he had extra cases of single-serve sparkling water on his truck, so he asked her if she knew that his company also offered those products for delivery. She didn’t— so he was able to make another sell and provide another convenience to his client, just buy starting up a conversation with her and knowing what products were on his truck. This scenario could play out with all ancillary products— from coffee and teas to enhanced waters and flavor packets.

Rule 3: Be a Team Player.

example. Successful route salespeople show up to team meetings on time, are concerned about how they look in their uniform, ensure their trucks are fully stocked before they take off on the day’s deliveries, drive courteously, and share sales tips that work with coworkers. Route sales can be a competitive arena, but the employees that encourage the success of others know that when the company wins they all win.

Refresher Course for the Win As we head into the summer of 2019, now is the perfect time to start motivating your route sales reps. To start, during team meetings focus on encouraging your reps to talk with their customers. Perhaps introduce a few new icebreakers the team can use while on the road. If a certain sales rep is struggling, make arrangements for him or her to ridealong for a few hours with one of your more veteran route personnel. The next IBWA Route Salesperson of the Year might just need a helping hand.

Without a doubt, the most common trait among all IBWA’s Route Salespeople of the Year is that they are the epitome of a team player. Communication again is key. Whether the task is helping a coworker with loading up their truck or taking on an extra route because someone is out sick—exemplary route sales reps are the first to speak up and volunteer. But sometimes the best way to communicate is without words: leading by MAY/JUN 2019



2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Process Enters Next Stage

By Al Lear, IBWA Director of Science and Research

In the November/December 2018 issue of the Bottled Water Reporter, the Technical Update column reviewed activities taken by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). The upcoming edition of the DGAs will take a life stage approach, meaning it will expand to include pregnant women and children from birth to 24 months, as mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill. IBWA reported that Stage 1 (Topics and Questions Identification) had been completed as part of the following four-stage process that the 2020 DGAs will follow: 28



Stage 1: Topics and Questions Identification • Stage 2: Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Selection • Stage 3: DGAC Review of the Scientific Evidence • Stage 4: USDA/HHS Develop the Dietary Guidelines When the USDA/HHS published the final topics and questions for consideration by the DGAC in September 2018, it also began Stage 2 of the process by requesting submission of nominees for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee as part of the selection process. In February 2019, after completing its •

review of the nominations, USDA/ HHS announced the appointment of the following 20 nationally recognized experts to serve on the 2020 DGAC [an asterisk (*) indicates Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics member]: • Jamy Ard, MD – Wake Forest University • Regan Bailey, PhD, MPH, RD – Purdue University, Department of Nutrition Science* • Lydia Bazzano, MD, PhD – Tulane University • Carol Boushey, PhD, MPH, RD – University of Hawaii* • Teresa Davis, PhD – Baylor College of Medicine

TECHNICAL UPDATE Kathryn Dewey, PhD – University of California, Davis • Sharon Donovan, PhD, RD – University of Illinois* • Steven Heymsfield, MD – Louisiana State University* • Ronald Kleinman, MD – Harvard University • Heather Leidy, PhD – University of Texas • Richard Mattes, PhD, MPH, RD – Purdue University* • Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, RD – University of North Carolina* • Timothy Naimi, MD – Boston University • Rachel Novotny, PhD, RDN, LD – University of Hawaii* • Joan Sabaté, DrPH, MD – Loma Linda University • Barbara Schneeman, PhD – University of California, Davis • Linda Snetselaar, PhD, RD – University of Iowa* • Jamie Stang, PhD – University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health* • Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH – Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard Chan School of Public Health • Linda Van Horn, PhD, RDN, LD – Northwestern University* Ten members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, are included among the DGAC appointees. In addition, the Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) at the University of California had three nominees chosen as members of the DGAC: Kathryn Dewey, Rachel Novotny, and Elsie Taveras. IBWA and the NPI are members of the National Drinking Water Alliance (NDWA), which is leading an ongoing national campaign urging USDA and HHS to add a symbol for drinking water to the MyPlate graphic as part of the DGAs revisions. More information can be •


Topic: Beverages The DGAC will include water under the “Beverages” category. Water, including bottled water, will be an important consideration as the DGAC considers the specific questions listed below related to the topic of beverages. • What is the relationship between beverage consumption during relevant stages of life and 1) achieving nutrient and food group recommendations 2) growth, size, body composition, and risk of overweight and obesity 3) for alcohol only, risk of certain types of cancer, risk of cardiovascular disease, neurocognitive health, and all-cause mortality? • What is the relationship between beverage consumption during pregnancy and 1) achieving nutrient and food group recommendations 2) gestational weight gain 3) birth weight standardized for gestational age and sex? • What is the relationship between beverage consumption during lactation and 1) achieving nutrient and food group recommendations 2) human milk composition and quantity 3) post-partum weight loss 4) for alcohol only, infant developmental milestones, including neurocognitive development?

Next Steps

the scientific evidence regarding the topics and questions. The DGAC will operate with six subcommittees, each focusing on a particular topic: (1) pregnancy and lactation, (2) birth to 24 months, (3) beverages (including water) and added sugars, (4) dietary fats and seafood, (5) frequency of eating, and (6) dietary patterns. The USDA hosted the first public meeting of the DGAC on March 28-29. The committee discussed its charter, operations, and timeline, along with the response to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study on the process to establish the DGAs. The committee also reviewed the topics and questions it will examine in the coming months. The next DGAC meeting will be held July 10-11 in Washington, DC. There will be an opportunity for oral comments from the public and interested third parties during this meeting. Three more meetings will follow: • October 24-25, 2019 in Washington, DC • January 23-24, 2020 in Houston, Texas • March 12-13, 2020 in Washington, DC Both USDA and HHS are encouraging public participation in the 2020 DGAs process. IBWA will continue to participate in the process and will provide input to the DGAC as it works through its review of the topics and questions. Please see the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans webpage if you would like additional information on the DGA’s process: www.

The DGAC is now entering Stage 3 of the process and will begin reviewing MAY/JUN 2019





certified plant operators (CPOs) are encouraged to complete the following quiz for ½ IBWA continuing education unit (CEU). The questions are derived from material presented in this issue of the Bottled Water Reporter, the IBWA Plant Technical Reference Manual, and the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice. Submit this quiz to Linda Alfakir ( / Fax: 703.683.4074), IBWA Education and Technical Program Coordinator, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22134. Look for additional quizzes in future issues and earn additional IBWA CEUs!

Name______________________________________________________ Company__________________________________________________ Address____________________________________________________ City_______________________________________________________ State/Province______________________________________________

ZIP/Postal Code____________________________________________

Check your selection for each question


According to the Official Monograph of the 23rd revision of the USP, a test for residual chloride in a water sample involves addition of 5 drops of nitric acid and 1 ml of _____.


Sodium chloride Silver nitrate Copper hydroxide Silver chloride


Stage 1 of the development of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines has been completed. Stage 1 is _____.

OO USDA/HHS Develop the Dietary Guidelines OO Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Selection OO Topics and Questions Identification OO DGAC Review of the Scientific Evidence


If one seeks to contact a state agency regarding a bottled water regulatory matter, contact information for the agency may be found in the Code of Practice’s _____.


Rule 1 Appendix A Rule 4 Appendix D


FDA’s D/DBP Rule requirements for source water testing where no disinfectant is employed require annual testing for _____.


Chlorine, chloramine, or chlorine dioxide No testing required Bromate, haloacetic acid, total trihalomethanes Haloacetic acids and total trihalomethanes only


The DGAC’s review of beverages in various tages of life will include consideration of water.

OO True OO False 30




Which of the following is not regulated under the FDA 9 contaminants rule?


Arsenic Glyphosate Antimony Diquat


A bottled water plant shall be operated under the supervision of a competent person qualified by experience, education, and training to operate and maintain the plant’s facilities. Said person is known as a _____.


Registered plant operator Certified plant operator Facility owner Shift supervisor


The two federal agencies that work together to develop the dietary guidelines are _____.


Environmental Protection and Commerce Office of Management and Budget and Education Interior and HUD Health and Human Services and Agriculture


The framework for a bottled water security plan is rooted in FDA guidance from 2003.

OO True OO False


Beginning in 2019, IBWA’s new requirement for PFAS testing is set at a frequency of _____.


Once in 2019, then every 3 years Annually Quarterly Every 4 years



MAY 1-4 Allied Purchasing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

NWBWA Annual Convention Hotel Murano Tacoma, WA

Analytical Technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

JUNE 3-6

Blackhawk Molding Co. . . . . .Inside Front Cover Downtown Wholesalers . . . . . . . . . . . . Outside Back Cover KHS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Polymer Solutions Int'l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

IBWA June Board of Directors and Committee Meetings Hilton Old Town Alexandria, VA


NEBWA 2019 Convention Crowne Plaza Danbury, CT


2019 IBWA Annual Business Conference and Trade Show Marriott Anaheim Anaheim, CA

Sigma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Steelhead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover Quality Truck Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5




VALUE OF IBWA MEMBERSHIP MICHAEL EFRON PRESIDENT THE WATERWAYS COMPANY RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA | CA ALL ABOUT MICHAEL In his spare time, Michael enjoys spending time with his family and traveling. One of his favorite trips is visiting his daughter and her family in Italy. He enjoys cooking, exercising, and snow skiing. One of the most important things to Michael is developing his work with charitable organizations.

Initially formed about 16 years ago, The Waterways Company considers itself as more than “just a company that sells water coolers.” According to President Michael Efron, the company lives its core values of “ultimate supply chain transparency—coupling it’s manufacturing expertise with its deep after-sales service and outstanding customer-centric support,” which helps in building strong relationships with its customers and partners. The creation of Waterways came about with the merger of two former IBWA supplier members that had 40 years’ worth of combined experience in manufacturing, importing, and marketing in the water dispensing business: IGO Products and Global Trade Works, LLC. Rebranded a few years back as The Waterways Company, today the company sells bottled water and filtration water coolers to bottled water companies, water filtration/point-of-use companies, vending and office coffee service operators, and retailers. Michael describes Waterways as “a world-class manufacturer” and states that “we’ve earned that reputation.” But his company doesn’t stop its work after the sell. Waterways also provides active technical support and strives for outstanding customer service, which Michael believes makes the company a complete package, a company that cares about its clients and not just profits. Michael began his career in the bottled water industry about 16 years ago, when he was asked by Nestlé Waters to represent the company in sourcing water coolers from Asia. “I had no background specifically in water coolers,” Michael explains, “but my extensive background in sourcing products” was the reason Nestlé approached him. It was through his work with Nestlé that Michael was introduced to IBWA. He decided to join the association because it provided Waterways an opportunity to learn more about the issues important to its bottled water clients and the initiatives supported by the industry. In addition to learning in-depth about industry issues, Michael appreciates having a voice on IBWA’s Government Relations and Supplier and Convention Committees. His involvement with the Government Relations Committee has provided valuable insight on the ongoing trade issues between the United States and China involving tariffs on goods, including several bottled water products—an important topic to him as most of Waterways’ products are sourced from China.









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