February 23, 2023
Members of the beverage dispensing industry will gather in New Orleans for the annual conference of the International Beverage Dispensing Equipment Association (IBDEA). From February 23-27, the conference will focus on networking opportunities and educational events for its members, many of whom have been working within the beverage industry for decades—and many of whom we count as partners.
As the leader in bag-in-box technology, we work with many IBDEA members. The theme of this year’s event is “unmask your potential,” which echoes how Scholle IPN and SIG approach every interaction with clients, both potential and longstanding: we work to maximize value at every step and listen carefully to deliver flexible solutions specifically tailored to their needs.
To break this down further—and to talk more about what Scholle IPN and SIG will be bringing to IBDEA—we spoke with Kevin Bergenthun, Director of Business Development, and Max Spread, Business Manager. Both will be at IBDEA to answer questions and chat about innovations and ideas that help businesses stay competitive in the beverage sector: you can find them at booth 200.
Max Spread: IBDEA primarily targets family-owned beverage syrup businesses. Anytime you go into a restaurant, if it’s not Coca-Cola or Pepsi in the soda dispensers, it’s going to be one of these companies.
Kevin Bergenthun: Many of the people we work with are third-generation family-owned businesses that do bag-in-box. It’s about building relationships and showing support.
MS: We’ll concentrate on the Versi Bag-in-Box package, which can be used with nearly every single connector available in the trade. The Versi is a universal fitment, which means it’s compatible with almost any bag-in-box set-up. That makes it easier for these family-owned businesses to get their products in and set up new clients. If they capture a new client and end up on a new fountainhead, they don’t have to worry about what equipment the client has—the Versi adapts to virtually everything.
From a bag-in-box standpoint, the Versi set-up allows our partners to protect their brands. This is something Kevin and I always bring to the table: whoever you are, we want to make sure we offer you tools that protect your product in the trade. With the Versi, our clients will have a fitment that will work for everything, so they can trust that whoever they distribute will execute their product correctly.
KB: We also want to highlight the DipStrip, a patented evacuation device in our bag-in-box. Let’s say you go to a convenience store and get a fountain drink: when you press the nozzle, that triggers a pump in the back room connected to a bag-in-box, and the drink gets dispensed. If you don’t have an evacuation device in there—we call ours the DipStrip—you’re not going to be able to empty everything in the bag.
The DipStrip is a flat channel, and it acts as a straw so that you get out, in our case, 99.75% of what’s in a bag. If you do not have something like this, you leave valuable product in the bag—a lot in some cases.
As Max said, we protect the customer’s brand. There’s a lot underneath that umbrella, and we’re proud to be the responsible supplier.
MS: This is a conversation that Kevin and I have almost weekly. A lot of what we do is understanding our client’s needs—and that’s what I like so much about this show. At IBDEA, it’s about listening to attendees and trying to understand where they’re coming from and offering solutions unique to them.
KB: There’s a Six Sigma term that’s really powerful in situations like this: voice of customer. Many of our clients are underdogs in this industry—they’re competing against big companies, and it’s also like David versus Goliath. Because they’re smaller, they don’t get their concerns heard, so our biggest strength is being able to listen and show we care.
KB: Scholle IPN is the largest supplier of bag-in-box solutions in this industry—it has been for the last 70 years. The way I see it is that the biggest just got better. We use this tagline, “better together,” which I’ve loved from the beginning since we’re truly better together and we get to offer more to our clients, so I hope people stop by to chat and ask questions.
MS: SIG brings firepower that allows us to innovate. As we mentioned, this is a competitive industry with very big players, so we have to provide innovative tools that keep our clients on the cutting edge at all times. With the backing and support of a brand like SIG, we can approach new problems with even more resources.
MS: Everyone! We’re happy to field any questions and make new connections. We’re not shy, and this is a show where we like connecting with people. Kevin has been doing business with some of these people for 25 or 30 years, so we’re eager to chat with anyone with any questions about this market. Even if you’re not sure, come chat with us. We can help find a solution for you.