Accounting for Taste
Keurig Dr Pepper Chairman and CEO Bob Gamgort ’84, P’16 gives customers what they want
by Bryan Wendell
That person peering inside the cooler at a local 7-Eleven or closing the lid on the home coffee maker demands more than mere refreshment.

People want their beverages to be delicious, healthy and natural. And they want the company behind the product to be environmentally responsible, socially aware and committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.

That’s a lot to ask of a beverage company, but Bob Gamgort ’84, P’16, chairman and CEO at Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), is up for the challenge. Under his leadership, the company has evolved the beverage giant’s portfolio with more low- and no-calorie choices, become a leader in the premium water category and significantly ramped up its green-focused efforts. All of KDP’s coffee pods are now recyclable, its brewers include postconsumer recycled material (PCR), and the company is transitioning its beverage bottles (which are already recyclable) to be made from PCR, reducing the need for new plastic.

Bob Gamgort headshot
Photo: Courtesy of Keurig Dr Pepper
Bob Gamgort ’84, P’16 has ramped up environmental responsibility efforts at Keurig Dr Pepper.
“Every year, we see it very clearly in the beverage industry — a push toward people wanting it all,” Gamgort says. “And giving them everything with a much lower environmental impact and a positive influence on the communities in which we operate.”

The ability to understand and adapt to change has been a constant thread throughout Gamgort’s four decades in business. “You have to be prepared to learn your entire career,” he says. “Anything that is very specific, especially in today’s world, isn’t going to last more than a couple of years.”

Gamgort shares that message with Bucknell students during frequent visits to Lewisburg. But his company’s ties to Bucknell run deeper still. KDP partners with Bucknell engineering students to design new innovations for Keurig brewers — like the company’s new brew-over-ice technology.

The partnership is the ultimate win-win: KDP gets access to young, curious talent. And Bucknell students get real-world experience as undergraduates.

“One of our challenges is not only to continue developing products that are for the next generation,” Gamgort says, “but also to develop a company that attracts the next generation — a place where talent wants to be.”