A southwest Indiana soft drink maker hopes to regain the level of popularity it enjoyed in the 1940s, but says it's an uphill battle against industry giants like The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: CO) and PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP). Dubois County-based Dad's Root Beer has been in production since the 1930s. Chief Executive Officer Keith Hedinger discussed the history of the company on a special edition of Inside INdiana Business Television. The company moved from Georgia to Jasper in 2007.

Dad's was one of America's preferred brands of root beer in the late 1940s. The company was at one time owned the second largest share of the root beer market-behind A&W. Coca-Cola distributed 12 million cases of Dad's annually in the mid-'80s.

How does a “David-sized” company compete with the “giant Goliath-sized” brands such as Coke and Pepsi? You get creative.

Dad's was the first product packaged in six-packs and half-gallon bottles. Today, its one liter bottle is popular. Hedinger says it also helps to offer variety when buyers are looking to add colors other than red and blue to their soft drink aisles.

Hedinger says the company's goal is to return to an annual distribution rate to 12 million cases. In addition to creative packaging, they're turning to product placement and advertising to battle competition.

Dad's Root Beer has sponsored two IndyCars to highlight its Indiana home and recently sponsored county music recording artist Nathan Osmond.

Source: Inside INdiana Business Television

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