Prior to the year 2000, the American Beverage Association, then known as the National Soft Drink Association (NSDA), required companies to manufacture or distribute at least one carbonated beverage in order to be members of the association. That all changed at the turn of the millennium under the leadership of NSDA President Will Ball.
On December 4, 2000, the NSDA announced a change in bylaws eliminating the carbonated beverage requirement to become a member, paving the way for a broad range of non-alcoholic beverage companies to become members including makers and distributors of juices, ready-to-drink teas and coffees, sports drinks and purified waters. Ball recognized the innovation happening in the beverage aisle saying, "NSDA's decision to accept non-carbonated beverage companies as members is rooted in the rapidly changing marketplace."
Looking back at the 100-year history of the American Beverage Association, innovation has always been a hallmark of the beverage industry. This mindset has led to larger product lines, giving consumers more choices, including drinks with smaller portion sizes, reduced and zero sugar options and clear calorie labels. As the American Beverage Association looks towards the next 100 years, we will be searching for more creative ways to serve our customers.