The American Beverage Association's members frequently open their facilities to elected officials and community members for tours. It's a great way for the bottlers to connect with their communities and for visitors to see the work that goes into creating their favorite non-alcoholic beverages.
This tradition started way back in 1929, when Carl A. Jones - then President of The American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages (ABCB, now the American Beverage Association) - encouraged member bottling companies to open their factories to public tours to dispel popular misconceptions about sanitation and manufacturing methods. Jones was a bottler himself - he bottled Coca-Cola in Bristol, Va. - and he knew firsthand that tours would build public trust in beverage companies.
It has been 90 years since Jones suggested the idea to his fellow bottlers, but the practice hasn't faded into the past. Plant tours still provide unique opportunities to build relationships between bottlers and the communities they serve.