As I’ve mentioned before in these columns, I originally started my trade journalist career 27 years ago by covering the beverage industry. Because of this, I tend to take note of the beverage selections at the various agricultural-oriented events I cover throughout the year.
Not too long ago, I wrote a column pointing out that in general, the agricultural industry is largely fueled by three kinds of fluid – blood, sweat and Mountain Dew. No matter how many ag retailers and/or custom applicators I’ve visited these past 14 years, empty cans of Mountain Dew are always present.
And apparently, this love of Pepsi’s golden-colored soft drink extends into the manufacturing arena as well. Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the opening of a new manufacturing facility for Waconia Manufacturing. Located in Norwood Young America, MN, this plant is situated on 10-plus acres, features 128,428 total square footage and 10 overhead cranes for lifting heavy equipment.
In addition, the facility was designed with a massive break/lunch room for its 71 employees to use. “We designed with this room with lots of windows to allow natural light in,” said Rob Henderson, vice president, sales & marketing. “We also put in lots of vending options for the employees.”
Glancing at the beverage vending machine, I realized just what this meant. There on the wall was a vendor with numerous slots filled with soft drink and bottled water choices. Most products had two slots devoted to a single brand. For the health conscious, there were eight slots featuring bottled water.
But there were 10 slots – one entire row of eight and two more just below this – dedicated to Mountain Dew and its diet counterpart. “That’s how I keep myself going every day, at all times of the day,” said one Waconia employee standing nearby as he took a sip from a green plastic bottle of agriculture’s favorite soft drink.
So while my old friends at Pepsi will probably keep showing young skateboarders and teenagers consuming Mountain Dew in their commercials, they should consider changing at least a few of these ads to show growers and ag retailers feeding the world with a little help from a special golden drink.