The Importance of Recognition During Times of Change
March 25, 2020
FNB Marketing Updates | 3.30.20
March 30, 2020

FNB Marketing Updates | 3.27.20

The food and beverage marketing team at Summit Group will be providing daily updates and insights on the industry during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Top News/F&B Headlines:

  • President Trump signs historic $2 trillion stimulus bill, which includes sending checks to people and help for healthcare providers and other businesses.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency announced a sweeping relaxation of environmental rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing power plants, factories and other facilities to determine for themselves if they are able to meet legal requirements on reporting air and water pollution. The move comes amid an influx of requests from businesses for a relaxation of regulations as they face layoffs, personnel restrictions and other problems related to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • In order to contain the virus and stop a potential second wave of coronavirus infections, China announced late Thursday night that it was suspending practically all entry to the country by foreigners and was halting almost all international passenger flights as well. The announcement came after official Chinese data indicated that the country had almost completely halted domestic transmission of the virus but was struggling to handle a growing number of people who were infected overseas.
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have both tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing them to lead the nation’s response to the pandemic from their homes in self-isolation.
  • Chinese restaurants have been suffering from escalating acts of vandalism and harassment amid the pandemic. Chinatowns in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s assault on restaurants in New York City. These businesses were the first to experience steep sales drop-offs and move to temporary closures as news of the virus in Wuhan, China caused customers to avoid those restaurants, even as there was no evidence that Chinese restaurants were unsafe.


Supply Update:

  • Freight carriers are struggling to deliver goods by land, sea or air as the coronavirus pandemic forces Western governments to impose lockdowns, threatening supplies of vital products including medicines into the most affected areas, such as Italy.
  • Americans are stockpiling eggs during the coronavirus crisis as they cook more meals at home. That’s leading to supply shortages and a spike in prices at some supermarkets. Egg sales increased 44% for the week ending on March 14 compared with a year ago, according to the most recent Nielsen data. Walmart (WMT) and other big grocers have implemented limits in recent days on purchases of eggs, cleaning supplies and other products that are in high demand from customers.

Heroes– who’s making the news for doing the right thing:

  • Venmo is aiming to give back to those making a difference. It is paying users who are donating to local businesses during this time, promoting the hashtag #VenmoItForward.
  • MGM Resorts partnered with food banks and local organizations in eight states to distribute 480,000 pounds of food — equivalent to 400,000 meals — to those in need. In addition to the food donations, MGM Resorts pledged $1 million of disaster relief into an employee emergency grant fund that will help employees pay bills and cover unexpected expenses.
  • LVMH Moët Hennessy, the French company behind major brands like Louis Vuitton, Fenty Beauty, and Benefit Cosmetics, announced that its factories that normally manufacture perfume will shift to manufacturing hand sanitizer gel, Insider’s Connor Perrett reported. The company also said it would be delivering the products to French healthcare authorities for free.


Marketing Insights:

In previous COVID industry reports, we’ve discussed the importance of backing up your marketing messages with action. If you’re going to tell your audience to stay safe during this time, they want to know what your company is actually doing to support that. A recent trend we’ve seen is household names altering their logos to represent the importance of social distancing. The majority of these have been very well received, and Audi, Volkswagan, and Coca Cola are just a few who have participated in a temporary logo redesign.

And then there’s McDonald’s. The company unveiled its reimagined logo in Brazil, sparking international backlash, including from Senator Bernie Sanders, who tweeted Wednesday about the company’s sick leave policy for its employees. McDonald’s has done little in the way of supporting its workers or communities during the outbreak. It’s unsurprising that their use of COVID-19 in advertising was considered tasteless by the masses. Since the overwhelming negative response, McDonald’s has issued an apology and removed all uses of the new logo. There’s an important lesson to be learned here for all: consumers are paying attention, now more than ever. If you’re gonna talk the talk, you need to walk the walk.0


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