Gross & Jarson Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc. Named PepsiCo’s 2020 Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year

PURCHASE, NEW YORK – PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA) named Gross & Jarson (G&J) Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc. in Athens, Ohio its 2020 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.  2020 marked G&J’s 85th year as a franchise, and it also marked the second consecutive nomination for the bottler.

The award was presented to Tim Trant, CEO of G&J by PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta and PBNA CEO Kirk Tanner at an awards ceremony held on Wednesday, March 23.

In 2020, The G&J team helped lead their overall success in the Eastern Ohio market by delivering growth year-over-year, investing in brand building and allocating capital infrastructure into best-in-class capabilities.  The G&J team took an active role in helping support their consumers and community during significant economic challenges by aiding local food pantries, veteran initiatives and arts programs.

“In 2020, our bottlers raised the bar on performance, all while supporting their communities during a time of need.  This is exactly what the Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year Award looks to celebrate,” said Richard Glover, President of PBNA’s North Division. “In the face of unprecedented challenges, G&J delivered. This commitment to the Athens community and our Pepsi partnership made them our 2020 Bottler of the Year.”

In 1925, Nell and Walter Gross and Esther and Isaac Jarson purchased the Grand Pop Bottling Company and became equal partners. Nell and Esther were the driving force behind this purchase; convincing their then-boyfriends to make the purchase that would eventually become G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc. G&J began selling Pepsi in 1935.

“On behalf of the Gross & Jarson families and all G&J employees, we are honored and thankful to win this prestigious Donald M. Kendall award and thank PepsiCo (PBNA) for their recognition and support,” said G&J’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Trant. “Our Pepsi Athens team led by Mike Brown is a special group of associates that drive exceptional performance and market share plus focus on serving the Athens community and those in need.”

Each year PepsiCo makes a donation to a nonprofit community organization of each Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year finalist’s choosing. G&J selected the Athens Food Pantry.

Also honored as Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year finalists were Mount Shasta Bottling of Mt. Shasta, Calif. in the West Division, McAlester Pepsi of McAlester, Okla. in the Central Division, Allen Beverages, Inc. of Gulfport, Miss. in the South Division and Arctic Beverages LP, Winnipeg, Manitoba from the Canada Division.

About G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc. of Athens, Ohio

G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers is a local, family-owned franchise bottler employing more than 1,500 people in 12 Ohio and Kentucky locations. Production, distribution, printing and blow mold facilities are located in Columbus. They produce and/or distribute Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Mug Root Beer, bubly, Dr Pepper, Crush, AMP, Rockstar, Starbucks, Lipton, LIFEWTR, Aquafina, Gatorade and Muscle Milk. For more info and employment opportunities, visit Follow Pepsi In The 614 on Facebook for contests and info on events.

About PepsiCo
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 $79 billion in net revenue in 2021, driven by a complementary beverages and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with PepsiCo Positive (pep+). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for planet and people. For more information, visit

G&J CEO accepts Bottler of the Year

Tim Trant, CEO of G&J accepts the 2020 Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year presented by PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta and PBNA CEO Kirk Tanner at an awards ceremony held on Wednesday, March 23.


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