General Mills is allowing office employees to work in its manufacturing plants to help meet increased demand, and the food company is also issuing daily bonuses to production employees for at least four weeks. "Our most important objectives are the continued health and safety of our employees and our ongoing ability to serve our consumers around the world. We see it as imperative that we help ensure a steady and reliable food supply for people and pets," said Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO of General Mills.
Chobani Oat milk has taken the No. 2 spot in sales for the category since its launch at the start of the year, assuming nearly 19% of the market share, according to Nielsen data. Chobani's yogurt brands report record sales due to coronavirus-related staples shopping, and the company is planning a launch of over 40 products for July, said Chobani president Peter McGuinness.
Unilever is producing more food products that come in larger sizes to accommodate consumer demand for well-stocked pantries, said Jostein Solheim, Unilever's executive vice president of foods and refreshment for North America. He added this change may result in temporary shortages of smaller-sized items in certain categories such as condiments.
Nestle USA's Beverage Division drives growth by keeping legacy brands relevant with iterations based on emerging trends such as plant-based creamers, said Daniel Jhung, president of the beverages unit. Nestle is also benefiting from meeting consumer demand for indulgent flavors and acquiring innovative startups such as Chameleon Cold-Brew while investing in ready-to-drink functionality -- a category expected to keep growing, Jhung added.
Convenience store managers have to balance increased consumer interest in a variety of categories within their beverages business, according to Joe Brumfield, category manager at Circle K's Texas division. "We must continue to stabilize soft drinks, but the future growth of the category has clearly shifted to water, better-for-you products and energy-based everything," he added.
Chocolate is the top quarantine comfort food, according to Hershey, which is reporting significant sales growth in stores and online of chocolate sweets, baking pieces and syrups. The company is benefiting from increasing inventory last quarter as current production keeps pace with real-time demand, according to a statement.
Cargill has chosen not to issue financial results for the recently completed third quarter. "Our eye is on making the right day-to-day decisions to keep the food system moving during the pandemic -- and looking to the future to ensure the food system stays viable around the world," the company states.
Henkel is donating to coronavirus-relief organizations worldwide, including more than $2 million slated for the World Health Organization/United Nations Foundation COVID-19 fund, as part of the Henkel's global solidarity program to assist employees, customers and communities during the pandemic. Henkel is also donating 5 million products such as soap, hand sanitizer and household cleaners to community organizations across the globe.
PepsiCo is launching a $45 million plan to support coronavirus relief worldwide by purchasing protective gear for medical personnel and testing services, said CEO Ramon Laguarta. PepsiCo will also deliver more than 50 million meals to communities in need, including the 22 million US children eligible for the National School Lunch Program.
Food processing facilities like JBS beef plant in Colorado are facing walk-outs due to fears over employees becoming infected with the coronavirus. Tyson Foods is among the companies incentivizing drivers and production employees to work through the outbreak.
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