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Drinks companies offer support during COVID-19

April 1, 2020
By Alana House

It’s been inspiring to see drinks companies provide their support during the unprecedented events over the past few weeks, which have seen thousands of on-premise venues close and shortages of hand sanitiser.

Lion recently announced additional measures to assist its on-premise customers, including taking back unused kegs and offering customers a credit.

Kegstar scan-free kegs

National Sales Director Mark Powell said: “We acknowledge this is an extremely distressing time for everyone involved in the hospitality industry. At Lion, we are doing everything we can to work quickly and provide our valued on-premise customers with the support they need right now.”

More than 60,000 requests for keg returns have been received and Lion is currently working to process them all.

Click here to read more.

Peter Filipovic hand santiser CUB

In addition to crediting customers for full beer kegs, Carlton & United Breweries is also donating at least 20,000 litres of hand sanitiser to frontline medical staff as they fight COVID-19 in hospitals around the country.

CUB CEO Peter Filipovic (above) said: “CUB always supports the community. And as the nation’s biggest brewer, we have a part to play in battling this unprecedented crisis. Helping the people who are directly fighting the effects of this virus is a good start.

CUB has also launched a For the Love of Your Local initiative with the AHA.

Aussies have been urged to place an order for a pint at their local pub to drink at the venue when it reopens.

Carlton & United Breweries will match every purchase with a free pint. People buy a pint using PayPal to ensure venues get the money quickly and, when doors re-open, they’ll be emailed a voucher to exchange for two pints.

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Bundaberg Rum santiser

Two iconic Queensland rum distillers – Beenleigh Rum and Bundaberg Rum – are also helping during the COVID-19 crisis by ensuring a supply of much-needed hand sanitiser.

Bundaberg Rum is going full steam ahead with the production of ethanol, and will donate 100,000 litres – enough to produce around 500,000 bottles – to the Queensland Government.

David Smith, Managing Director of Bundaberg Rum’s parent company Diageo Australia, said: “At a time like this we will always step up and contribute when Australians need it most.”

William Grant & Sons has announced it will supply five million litres of ethanol for hand sanitiser production.

Girvan and Tullamore in Scotland are producing ethanol to be supplied to a range of hand sanitiser manufacturers, while Tuthilltown distillery in New York State will produce, package and distribute hand sanitiser to local health care providers.

Click here to read more about drinks companies producing hand sanitiser.

Bacardi hand sanitiser

In addition to producing one million litres of hand sanitiser, Bacardi has launched an initiative called #RaiseYourSpirits to support the restaurant and bar industry.

The company pledged $US3million in financial aid and other support to help the bar industry during this unimaginable time. This donation is in addition to the $US1million pledged by the Patron tequila brand.

Click here to read more.

Meals For Mates

In addition to producing hand sanitiser globally, Pernod Ricard launched an Australian initiative – Meals for Mates – to provide meal vouchers for hospitality workers who have either lost their jobs or are coping with reduced hours.

The $25 vouchers were made available to impacted hospitality staff across Victoria, NSW and Queensland to the value of $100,000.

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Woolworths Group has announced it will hire up to 20,000 new roles across its supermarkets, e-commerce, supply chain and drinks businesses in Australia over the next month.

The new hires will assist the retailer to meet the unprecedented demand for food and drinks across Australia. It will also help scale up online operations to support the changing shopping needs of the community as the health crisis continues to unfold.

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Coles

Coles also announced a hiring blitz. Coles liquor stores and supermarkets have recruited more than 7000 people over the past two weeks to meet customer demand.  

Coles has now extended the recruitment drive by opening an additional 5000 positions across the country.

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Amatil support

Coca-Cola Amatil has launched a portal for its customers that helps set them up for success online on their own website, social media accounts and food aggregators such as Uber Eats, Doordash and Deliveroo.

This free service provides customers with professional food and drink photography and helps them make the most of their website, social media and food aggregators.

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Spirits Platform cocktail initiative

Spirits Platform is lending a hand to local bartenders who have recently lost their jobs, asking them to create simple cocktail video tutorials called ‘Home Five O’Clock-tails’.

Bartenders will be paid $250 for their approved video submission, which will be shared and promoted on the company’s Simply Cocktails Facebook page and on the bartender’s personal social channels.

This initiative allows consumers, most of whom are home-bound, to try their hand at making some of their favourite cocktails they would normally enjoy in a bar. “Home Five O’Clock-tails” will see 100 cocktail ‘how to’ videos posted every weekday at 5pm over 100 days.

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