We often blog about our industry, and how it is part of Americana. But some of our readers may not know the history of our association, which represents the non-alcoholic beverage industry. So today, we thought we’d share a few nuggets about the American Beverage Association – and how we got our name.
More than 90 years old, the American Beverage Association wasn’t always known as ABA. The association was founded in 1919 as the American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages - or ABCB. It was formed after almost 40 years of efforts to organize the carbonated beverage industry, which had tremendous growth since the turn of the 20th century. At the time, the name of the organization was fitting for the products that were being produced.
By the time the 1960s came along, the industry –and the association - had changed quite a bit. In fact, some of ABCB’s Board members felt that the association’s name “no longer described accurately either the full scope of the Association’s activities or the composition of its membership,” according to “The National Soft Drink Association: A Tradition of Service.” So in 1966, at the ABCB’s annual convention, the members unanimously voted to change the association name to the National Soft Drink Association (NSDA).
Being an industry of innovation, the beverage industry continued to change over the next several decades. Member companies were no longer just producing soft drinks or carbonated beverages. Their product portfolios had expanded to include everything from soft drinks to bottled water, 100 percent juice, sports drinks, ready-to-drink teas and more. Thus, it was time for the association name to once again better reflect its membership. In 2004, NSDA was re-branded as the American Beverage Association. As ABA nears 100 years of service, we are proud to serve as the national voice of such an iconic industry.