Southeastern Bottling named PepsiCo’s 2018 Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year

Contributed Photo: Southeastern Bottling’s Founder and CEO Margaret Schade, seated center, proudly holds PepsiCo’s Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year Award and is flanked by Southeastern Bottling and PepsiCo colleagues.

Contributed Article

PURCHASE, NEW YORK – During a special ceremony in New York City earlier this week, PepsiCo Beverages North America named Southeastern Bottling of Safford, Arizona, its 2018 Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year.

Named for PepsiCo’s revered former chairman and chief executive officer, the Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year Award was created in 1994 to honor the very best of the best among independent Pepsi-Cola bottlers in the United States and Canada. Southeastern Bottling was one of four finalists recognized for outstanding franchise performance, including volume growth, customer service, sales execution, and community support.

The award was presented to Margaret Schade, Southeastern Bottling’s beloved founder and CEO, who bottled her first Pepsi on Halloween night 1952. And today, at 96 years old, Mrs. Schade continues to run the day-to-day operations of the business.

“I’ve been in this business for 67 years and it’s been a marvelous journey,” said Mrs. Schade. “On behalf of Southeastern Bottling, I am honored and incredibly humbled to accept the Bottler of the Year award. I’d genuinely like to thank our dedicated employees, incredible customers, supportive community and, of course, our long-time partner PepsiCo.”

“The four independent bottling partner finalists demonstrated exceptional commitment and capability where it matters most – locally – up and down the streets of the communities they serve so well,” said Jim Lee, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, PepsiCo Beverages North America. “In 2018, Southeastern Bottling was a standout, delivering tremendous results, providing top-notch customer service and giving back to the community they have operated in for decades – we wish them a heartfelt congratulations.”

Each year, PepsiCo makes a $5,000 donation to a non-profit community organization of each Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year finalist’s choosing. Southeastern Bottling selected Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition, which is dedicated to helping people with substance abuse disorders. Soon, the organization will break ground just east of Southeastern’s plant on the House of Hope Prevention and Resource Center.

Also honored as Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year finalists were Oneta Company of Corpus Cristi, Texas, the reigning titleholder; RSI of Key West, Florida; and Honickman Affiliates of Pennsauken, New Jersey.


PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $64 billion in net revenue in 2018, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. 

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