Retailer Columns

Please, let us know why (you think) you don’t like ethanol

ACE's Market Development will be taking part in our first in-person petroleum marketer trade show in 16 months when we set up the booth at the Southwest Fuel and Convenience Expo in Fort Worth, Texas, June 6-8. Five other “non-virtual” trade shows are on the books for the remainder of 2021.

These conferences and tradeshows are important for us to share the latest information about storing and selling ethanol with fuel station owners and operators, but it’s equally important to have the opportunity to talk with marketers and find out what they’re thinking and hearing about ethanol, and what they need from us to help them become more comfortable making the change to higher ethanol blends. Some of the most valuable outcomes of participation in petroleum industry events come from conversations with people who just wanted to stop by to tell us how much we suck. …or more accurately, how much they think we suck …and why. 

After 20 years and probably more than 250 petroleum marketer tradeshows and workshops, we’re pretty comfortable with the idea that some marketers don’t like ethanol. At least they don’t think they like ethanol. After asking why they don’t like it, most critics offer one or more of the traditional objections (subsidies, food vs. fuel, doesn’t really reduce pollution, energy balance, high cost of the fuel or equipment needed to sell it), all of which are talking points hammered into their skulls with persistent oil industry misinformation campaigns, and ALL of which are provably very false. 

That’s why we like to talk to the haters…  and even the dislikers …or the I’m not too sure about you guys-ers… People who have an opinion and want you to know about it, care. They want you to know what they think because they want things to be better and they think you are making them worse. And because they care, when they are provided with true, verifiable information proving their previous opinions are wrong, and after they’ve had a chance to verify the truth of new information they’ve been given, those people often become vocal advocates for higher ethanol blends.   

But the bottom line is always to bottom line. Most often ethanol haters become ethanol “converts” after finding out they can create a unique identity for their business and most importantly, gain customers and make more money by selling higher ethanol blends. “The math” favors higher octane ethanol blends nearly all the time, and there is no telling how much impact selling a cleaner fuel can make on some customers.  

We try to address a lot of concerns in these columns and have other marketers address them on, but we can’t cover them all, and if you’re running a convenience store or stores, you don’t have time to search the web. So, if you’re attending a trade show, stop by and tell us we suck. We’ll explain why we don’t, and at the very least, you’ll probably walk away with a sweet koozie!  

Comments (0)

Add a Comment

Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment:

Become a Member of the Family.