Sector News

Alcohol brands band together to rebuild hospitality culture post-pandemic

July 23, 2020
Food & Drink

CEOs of leading beer, wine and spirits producers are uniting to support the rebuilding of the thriving café, bar and restaurant culture missed by communities during closures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Under the umbrella of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), several prominent brands of alcoholic beverages issued a joint statement that they are determined to play their part in protecting the entire value chain of the sector.

“The hospitality sector has been among those most severely impacted by shutdowns around the world, yet it has never been more valued or missed. The sudden closure of cafés, restaurants and bars brought into sharp focus, not just how many livelihoods depend on these venues, but also how vital they are to the social fabric and emotional well-being of communities,” the statement reads.

Companies who signed the statement include Anheuser-Busch InBev, Asahi Group Holdings, Bacardi, Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman, Carlsberg, Diageo, Heineken, Kirin Holdings Company, Molson Coors, Pernod Ricard and William Grant & Sons.

Bars and cafés are hotspots for social activity.“Socializing in bars and restaurants has been missed the most, second only to spending time with friends and family. To many of us, the two are intimately linked. Indeed, the sense of occasion and pleasure of being sociable is so valued that many are prepared to pay more to go out and enjoy food and drink within these settings, clearly showing that communities value their social well-being alongside their physical health,” the statement continues.

IARD has committed to work alongside retailers and other business partners to support appropriate physical distancing measures as governments allow venues to reopen. It has also said it will use its marketing, promotion of responsible service and server training programs to help prevent harmful drinking from threatening the safe and sociable atmosphere that communities want to enjoy.

Recognizing the rapid growth in online sales and home delivery of beer, wine, and spirits, the not-for-profit is accelerating the efforts that it announced in January to develop global e-commerce standards and safeguards for online marketing, sales and delivery. It is inviting digital platforms and delivery agents to join it in doing this.

The organization further says it will continue constructive dialogue with national governments, international organizations, experts and civil society to better understand what can be done to raise standards and protect lives, livelihoods and communities, as society emerges from this pandemic.

The Alliance also calls on a collective approach to restore the social structures before COVID-19. “By working together with all key partners, we can help rebuild a safe and thriving café, bar and restaurant culture that can flourish despite the uncertain times we currently face. Through a whole-of-society response we can once again create the welcoming environment that has been missed by many,” reads the statement.

By: Missy Green

Source: Food Ingredients First

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