NEC Retailers Panel Talks Marketing Higher Blends

Carrie Muehling

(L to R) Moderator: Robert White, VP of Industry Relations, Renewable Fuels Association; Bryan Goforth, EVP, Home Service Oil Company; Sam Odeh, President, Power Energy Corp.; Steve Walk, COO, Protec Fuel Management, LLC

Retail representatives on a panel at the National Ethanol Conference discussed how market drivers, federal policies and state program are driving the increased availability of E15 and flexible fuels. They also shared some personal experiences when it comes to offering higher blends of ethanol at their locations. Education was the biggest factor for Bryan Goforth with Home Service Oil Company.

“That really made a big difference for us, just beginning that educational process. Because we had some of those same thoughts and maybe myths or stereotypes that might have been out there because I just wasn’t educated and I didn’t know,” said Goforth. “I’ve never been part of that message. So, the education process was what really allowed us to understand the product and bring it to retail.”

Steve Walk with Protec Fuel Management said he believes blender pumps are key to the future of selling higher ethanol blends.

“[We’re] looking at E85 as not only a fuel but also as a feedstock. Let that station have the ability to blend the fuel at a level that makes sense for them,” said Walk, who talked about the process of upgrading infrastructure that is necessary in order to offer higher blends.

Power Energy Corporation President Sam Odeh agreed that infrastructure can present challenges. He also agreed with the idea that educating the consumer is vital, and achievable.

“What we found out is there is a whole homegrown pride. It was easy to engage with the customer to talk about the product and to talk about giving back to the community,” said Odeh, who noted that adding renewable fuels to their locations did help the company to grow overall sales.

Listen to the entire panel discussion here: NEC19 Retailer panel

2019 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

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