This post is sponsored by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. All opinions are my own.
Last week I had the opportunity to listen to executives from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) explain not only the product development process (it takes YEARS to bring a new flavor to the market) but also their commitment balance. They recognize the importance of balancing calories consumed with calories burned and are working to improve both fronts. Not only are they delivering new choices to meet consumer preferences on sweeteners, calories, and package sizes but they are supporting programs to help kids stay active.
I loved learning about the Let’s Play initiative that they launched in 2011. Working with KaBOOM! and Good Sports, DPS has committed more than $28 million to youth organizations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
I’ve mentioned KaBOOM! before and LOVE the work they do. Partnering with KaBOOM! allows DPS to provide places for your younger kids to play. They give grants to fund playground improvements and volunteer muscle to help build new playgrounds. I personally plan on submitting an application for our own elementary school, it’s a Title 1 school and we could use some improvements!
Through Good Sports, DPS provide grants for sports equipment and structured team sports for underfunded youth. They hope to help older kids who lack the opportunity to participate in organized sports due to the cost of equipment, uniforms, and entry fees. While my kids are younger and still love to play on jungle gyms, I totally appreciate the focus of this organization on older kids who are more likely to join a sports team than play at the park. With school funding cuts, many districts have been forced to cut after school sports or require extensive fees for kids to participate. Not every family is in the position to pay those fees. I’m happy this program is helping more kids participate in athletics.
Plus let’s face it, times have changed and kids no longer have access (either proximity or permission) to play outside like we did. Combine that with the fact that more kids have greater access to screens (TV, video games, phones), they are spending way more time staring at a screen than we did as children. I totally appreciate the efforts of DPS. Since they’ve begun the Let’s Play program, DPS has impacted more than 7.5 million kids with new and improved playgrounds and sports equipment grants. Plus DPS employees have donated over 18,000 volunteer hours on KaBOOM! playground builds.
By the way, if you aren’t drinking cola, then you are likely drinking one of DPS’s products. They sell more than 50 brands of carbonated soft drinks, teas, juices, mixers and other premium beverages. So you can smile as your sip your favorite beverage, knowing that you’re likely supporting the Let’s Play program.