Difference Makers: Nathaniel Doddridge, Casey’s General Stores
Casey’s General Stores received the Eye on Biodiesel Impact Award from the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) in 2019. Nathaniel Doddridge is Casey’s director of fuels.
When and how did Casey's get involved with marketing biodiesel?
We started blending biodiesel during the summer of 2018 for our locations throughout Iowa and Illinois. The financial feasibility of biodiesel was a primary driver in our decision to begin blending, but we also wanted to recognize that biodiesel is produced in a lot of the small towns where we operate our stores. Casey’s is at the heart of communities we serve so it’s a perfect fit.
Casey’s is committed to providing customers the safest, most reliable gasoline and diesel fuel and to enhancing that promise with new fuel options, including biodiesel. Our stores have taken a pro-biofuels approach. In addition to blending more biodiesel, we are promoting the E15 ethanol program, “Prime the Pump.” All totaled, Casey’s has converted more than 590 stores to biodiesel and continues to expand to additional locations.
What kind of feedback do you get from Casey’s customers?
Overall, we have received very little feedback from our guests and we believe that is because biodiesel has become a standard renewable fuel product offering they expect. There is still a subset of customers that are not interested in biodiesel, but largely we have found a positive response from people and think that subset will get smaller over time.
What are your plans for the future in terms of marketing biodiesel?
Given the recent approval of the federal tax credit, we are looking to expand to new states. Casey’s also will move most locations to offering B20 as we head into the spring.
(Qualified biodiesel producers and blenders currently are eligible for an income tax credit of $1.00 per gallon of pure biodiesel (B100) or renewable diesel produced or used in the blending process. The credit had expired on Jan. 1, 2018 but was retroactively reinstated Dec. 20, 2019, as part of the federal spending bill. The credit remains in effect until the end of 2022.)
How can Illinois soybean farmers partner with you?
Farmers and the biodiesel industry have to continue to partner with us on education. If we assume everyone understands the benefits of biodiesel, we have done our guests a disservice and we will never get full adoption. Illinois is Casey’s second largest operations state behind Iowa, so it is a very important market for us.
Nathaniel Doddridge oversees Casey’s fuel strategy for all facets of the business, including retail marketing/pricing, procurement and transportation. He joined Casey’s after spending 13 years at Murphy USA working in all areas of operations and fuel. Casey’s owns and operates approximately 2,200 locations in 16 states. Fun fact: Casey’s is also the fifth largest pizza retailer in the U.S. and is known for restaurant quality food served via convenience stores.