There is no question that the essential workers are the front lines of helping average people during the COVID-19 crisis are the real heroes among us; however, it is worth recognizing the brands that are demonstrating agility, leadership, and a dedication to their consumers/workers during this time. Here are some of the CPG brands who were quick to respond and have made significant contributions.
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble is the parent company of household staples including Puff’s tissues, Charmin paper towels, and the all coveted Charmin toilet paper to name a few. As P&G saw their consumers struggling to get access to their products they knew quick steps needed to be taken to meet consumer needs. To ensure customers had up-to-date information on what steps they were taking, they launched a COVID-19 section of their webpage. But they didn’t stop at servicing supply issues. Once they had measures in place to tackle that, they began finding new ways to contribute to the larger COVID-19 relief cause worldwide, including but not limited to:
- Repurposing 5 manufacturing facilities around the world and dedicated them to the production of hand sanitizer
- Setting aside manufacturing resources for the development of face masks in major regions across the globe
- Making generous donations to organizations like Feeding America and the First Responders Children’s Foundation during the iHeart Radio televised benefit concert.
- Participating and leading social media fundraising efforts including the #DistanceDance and Twitch’s #StreamAid2020
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is best known as the leading developer of household favorites such as Neutragena, Aveeno, Band-Aid, Tylenol and Bendaryl; however, where they really bring to the table during this type of crisis is their medical expertise. Beyond developing household products, they also have teams of scientists that focus on new drug developments. In fact, their teams responded during the HIV, SARS, Zika and Ebola outbreaks helping to research and generate vaccines, treatments, etc. across the globe. To ensure customers are aware of their efforts, they also launched a webpage detailing their plan of action and providing constant updates. This site provides a timeline on the efforts they are making including:
- $50M donation to support frontline healthcare workers tackling COVID-19
- Dedicating staff to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and running trials to ensure safety before release.
- Launching a Media Hub section of their webpage with the latest press releases regarding their efforts.
Much like their competitors, Unilever is known for household items such as Dove, Lipton, Knorr, etc. spanning from food and beverage products to soaps. Rather launching a dedicated site, they are consistently sharing press releases on their efforts around the world to support COVID-19 relief. Much like their counterparts they made sizeable donations; however, they did so in such a way that truly focuses on the products they can already provide, the retailers they can help keep afloat and the staff members they can retain. These efforts include:
- Donating €100M worth of soap, sanitizer, bleach and food to COVID Action Platform of the World Economic Forum and NGOs and other national health organizations in areas of critical need
- €500m of cash flow relief to support livelihoods across Unilever’s extended value chain by extending credit or early payment to small/medium size businesses that rely on Unilever to stay afloat
- A dedication to keeping all staff at their current pay for at least 3 months without pay cuts or layoffs.
Product donations is another major sector for Kraft-Heinz Company most known for Kraft mac n cheese, Heinz ketchup, Ritz crackers, Oreo cookies, etc. Focusing their efforts on ensuring people around the world are well-fed is at the crux of their goal. The steps their taking are outlined in a press release and include:
- $1.9M cash donation to Feeding America
- $4.7M product donation to Feeding America and food banks
- Product donations and partnerships with food organizations across the globe including Canada’s Food Banks Canada, China’s BabyTree, and the UK’s Magic Breakfast
- Launching the #WeGotYouAmerica campaign celebrating factory workers who are working tirelessly to ramp up food production to meet the needs of these donations.
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company needs no introduction, but it is worth noting that beyond Coke itself, they also produce items that are more critical right now including water bottle brands Dasani and Smart Water as well as nutrition support drinks such as Vitamin Water, Odwalla, and Powerade. Taking stock of their resources and ability to provide support, they issued a press release dedicating the below relief:
- Partnering with plastic recycler UltrePet and packaging manufacturer EasyPak to donate and transport clean PET plastic sheeting to make specialty shields used by medical professionals to protect themselves while treating sick patients
- Supplying plastic sheeting to students at Georgia Tech in partnership with MarketLabs so that students can product 50K+ plastic surgical shields for medical professionals.
- Answering a call from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for hand sanitizer and donations of PPE by hosting a drop-off location and rewarding people who donate with free eight-packs of Coca-Cola’s new AHA sparkling water.
- Repurposing some bottling facilities to create bottles that can be used to contain hand sanitizer.
- Donating $13.5M in grants to five nonprofit organizations working on the front lines of the U.S. and Canadian humanitarian response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Donating 740K+ beverages to support community organizations, food banks and frontline responders throughout the U.S.
Much like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo is best known for Pepsi, but is also the manufacturer of food products including foods such as Rold Gold pretzels, Quaker Oats, Sabra Hummus as well as nutritionally relevant beverages such as Aquafina water, Life Water, Propel energy drinks, and Naked juice drinks. The company’s dedicated COVID webpage outlines their many efforts across the globe. Overall, their efforts include:
- $45M donation to ensure food and essential resources are provided to those in need
- 50M nutritious meals donated to those in most high-risk communities
- Partnerships with over 35 organizations across the globe to meet the needs of local communities
- Providing essential relief in over 40 countries