Top News/F&B Headlines:
- New York City is warning again that they are days away from a “D-Day,” when the outbreak will overwhelm the healthcare system. Mayor Bill de Blasio called Friday for the nation’s healthcare workers to be sent to the hardest-hit places. In addition to the lack of healthcare workers, one out of six New York City police officers is out sick or in quarantine.
- Britain is drawing up plans to issue an “immunity passport” for key workers that would certify those who have recovered from coronavirus — and carry antibodies identifiable by a blood test — and allow them to resume a normal working life. Although in its early stages, the idea could form part of a broader exit strategy from the countrywide lockdown once the spread of the disease has been brought under control.
- The Trump administration is deeply divided about whether or not to urge all Americans to wear masks when they leave their homes, with White House advisers and public health officials engaged in a debate over everyone, even those who appear to be healthy, wearing them versus limiting the mask-wearing guidance only to people in areas of widespread transmission.
- Food delivery is 300 times more popular vs. a month ago, according to Yelp data
- New numbers out of New York City’s health department confirms that service workers, including those working in the food industry, are among the most vulnerable for contracting COVID-19, according to an analysis of data by local news publication The City. The analysis includes other service jobs, as well — like construction workers and child care staff — so it’s not clear how much of the pool is made up by food workers. It’s based on a new map released by the Health Department on Wednesday breaks down the number of positive novel coronavirus cases by zip code, with outer neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx seeing especially high numbers
Truckers hauling food are facing delays across the globe in the latest disruption to supply chains caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In Europe, they’re enduring delays because of restrictions that have been imposed to control the virus’s spread. In South America, local laws have at times conflicted with country-wide ordinances that deem hauling food an essential service, leaving supplies sometimes stuck in storage. In parts of Africa, the shuttering of public transportation means drivers aren’t even able to make it into work. And huge spikes in demand have caused lags for loading at some U.S. warehouses.
Consumer Search Behavior:
Coronavirus TIPS has received over 5 million searches today and we can see why. Typing that phrase into Google brings up a plethora of information regarding the COVID outbreak, including a heat map of worldwide cases and a tally of confirmed, recovered, and deaths by country and by state. You can also find prevention tips symptoms to look out for directly from the World Health Organization, as well as the latest virus-related news.
F&B-specific top searches have a new contender in the top 5: free delivery food. With many restaurants partnering with food delivery apps to waive delivery fees, it’s understandable why this search term has risen in popularity.
Heroes– who’s making the news for doing the right thing:
- With small business retailers closing shop—in many cases for good—eBay says it wants to help. The online marketplace debuted an accelerator program for retailers that only have a brick-and-mortar shop—no ecommerce site—and pledged up to $100 million in support. Called “Up & Running,” the initiative is designed to help the small businesses that sell on eBay’s site. New businesses can run an eBay store for free for three months with no selling fees to eBay, which will also provide educational webinars and business support. In March, eBay said it was discouraging price gouging by prohibiting coronavirus-related items and blocking new listings for much-needed health care supplies such as masks and home essentials such as toilet paper.
- In addition to implementing new sanitizing and safety protocols, Home Depot has announced that all hourly full-time associates will receive an additional 80 hours of paid sick or personal time, and part-time hourly associates will receive an additional 40 hours of paid sick or personal time. These hours can be taken whenever from now until the end of the year.
- Under Armour launched a 30-day Healthy at Home fitness challenge on the MyFitnessPal and MapMyRun platforms, to help individuals and families stay healthy and active at home. As part of the challenge, Under Armour will donate $1 million worth of money and products to support the Good Sports organization in efforts to ensure youth sport leagues have all necessary equipment. In addition, UA is donating $1 million to Feeding America to help support hunger relief efforts as a result of current school closures and quarantines.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed the do’s and don’ts of messaging during the COVID outbreak, as well as highlighted brands whose innovative marketing efforts have stood out to us at this time. According to a recent brand trust report, 62% of consumers believe that their country will not endure the crisis without brands playing an active role in relief efforts. That means that now more than ever, consumers are looking not only at your products, but at your company as a whole and what it’s doing to help. Insights like these are pivotal to developing a successful strategy in a pandemic-stricken world. Consumers are listening, so you need to make sure you’re telling them the right things… and backing those things up with actions.
Ace Metrix, an advertising analytics company based in El Segundo, California, shared a new report that looks at how consumers are responding to current ads. CVS Health, Olive Garden and Sam’s Club scored highest on the report’s likeability rankings, with consumers finding their ads 18% more relevant, 11% more likeable and 12% more informative than others. The main thing these three ads from three very different companies have in common is that they are all extremely relevant: deliveries during lockdown, BOGO curbside pickup meals, and gratitude for staffers who ensure customers have access to the groceries they need. The first two demonstrate how CVS Health and Olive Garden are adapting to the crisis and making things easier for consumers, while the Sam Club’s video, which scored highest of the three, pulls on your heartstrings knowing their hardworking employees are getting the acknowledgment they deserve.
Check out the ads here: CVS Health, Olive Garden, Sam’s Club