Sector News

Food and beverage industry steps up efforts to fight Covid-19

April 16, 2020
Consumer Packaged Goods

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, food and beverage companies have accelerated their efforts worldwide to provide support and relief to those most affected during the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent times, we have seen companies in all sectors of the global food and beverage industry make commitments to support those in need. This includes alcohol companies shifting production to hand sanitiser; fast food restaurants including KFC and Subway offering benefits to key workers; and companies throughout the industry making significant donations in relation to their size to support key workers, food charities and delivery services.

From small brands to beverage giants, more and more companies are leveraging their capabilities through campaigns and putting their resources to good use.

Major donations

PepsiCo and The PepsiCo Foundation have allocated $45 million to a global Covid-19 initiative to go towards protective gear for healthcare workers, testing and screening services, and the distribution of more than 50 million nutritious meals to at-risk populations, in particular increasing access to nutrition for out-of-school children.

Mars has committed $20 million to support the people, pets and communities most affected with donations going towards CARE, United Nation’s World Food Programme and Humane Society International. Meanwhile, Tetra Laval Group has donated €10 million to various voluntary organisations supporting the health care systems across the countries that it operates in.

Food donations

Many firms have been donating physical produce to food banks and non-profit organisations to countries around the world including Smithfield Foods (over 40 million servings of protein valued at $30 million, in addition to $3 million in cash), Hormel Foods (200,000 meals and $1 million pledge), McCain Foods (up to 20 million pounds of potato product) and Goya Foods (200,000 pounds of food).

The Kraft Heinz Company has donated $12 million globally to a range of communities in the form of cash and food products including $6.6 million (valued donation) to Feeding America in support of food banks. Kellogg has increased its donation of food and funds to $5 million including thousands of boxes of cereal across the UK and Campbell Soup Company has contributed approximately $3.5 million to date to food organisations.

Hospitality sector

Elsewhere, Bacardi has launched the Raise Your Spirits initiative and committed $3 million to support bars and restaurants debilitated by the shutdown. AB InBev has raised €6m to date for restaurants, pubs and bars across Europe through donations, business support and ‘prepaid pints’. Barefoot has made an initial $100,000 donation to Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE), which supports food and beverage employees and their families.

Asian beer company Tiger, meanwhile, has launched its Support Our Streets initiative across Asia to help the hospitality sector. More than €950,000 has been pledged by Heineken Malaysia and Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore in the form of cash funds and vouchers that people can redeem at their favourite local food and beverage outlets once safe distancing measures are over.

Deliveries

Due to social isolating, many companies are offering delivery platforms. GetSwift has partnered with Feed The Need of Florida and Meals of Love, as well as the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) and its restaurants partners to provide daily meal deliveries across Florida using its SaaS logistic platform.

Research

According to a report by Reuters, the Barilla family, which owns the pasta maker of the same name, has donated $500,000 to US non-profit association The Cure Alliance to fund research on a Covid-19 therapy based on stem cells; adding to its previous €2 million donation to health institutions in Italy.

From dairy firms such as Maple Hill Creamery to plant-based brands such as This, every day, more and more companies are contributing to the same cause. Here at FoodBev, we’d like to say thank you.

By Emma Upshall

Source: FoodBev

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