As of right now, PUSH Beverages are manufactured in New Jersey and New York, Laurel Whitney, co-founder, co-owner and chief financial officer, said.
“But, if the $15 minimum wage goes through, that will drive us out of state,” she said. “Right now, more than 50 percent of our business is in the Southeast, so we could really be anywhere.
“We love New Jersey, we grew up here and this is our place of choice, but, while our skilled equipment operators, technicians and sales teams make more, packing of the pallets and loading bottles onto conveyor lines are $10-per-hour jobs that we simply cannot pay more for, because our prices will then not be competitive.”
Trends and fads
Laurel Whitney, co-founder, co-owner and chief financial officer of PUSH Beverages in Roxbury, said trends often are hard to swallow.
“A couple years ago, for example, everybody was making functional beverages that had some sort of claim to do something, like help you sleep, or help you lose weight or help with cognitive function,” she said. “I don’t hear that so much anymore, but back then, people would come up to me at trade shows and ask, ‘But what does your drink do?’
“I’d say, it tastes good and stops you from being thirsty.”
There is one trend, though, that Whitney said she believes is here to stay, according to her sales reports.
“The claim that people are more health conscious now and are not buying soda, well, that is just not true,” she said. “Our sugared beverages still sell way better than our diet sodas and our no-sugar added beverages, because people still want sugar.
“We offer healthy products, like our unsweetened iced teas and flavored waters, but people really only want them in case they feel like being good that day.”
You won’t hear or see many television or roadside advertisements for PUSH Beverages, Laurel Whitney, co-founder, co-owner and chief financial officer, said.
“I don’t think a billboard or commercial will portray us as well as getting to trade shows all over the country so that people can see and hold and feel and taste our products,” she said. “People will then tag our product on social media when they buy it from a vending machine because they just love it.
“If you try it, you’re going to buy it.”
Reach Laurel Whitney at: Laurel@pushbeverages.com or 518-328-7874.