Industry News
Top 10: Groceries, restaurants, food and beverage manufacturers respond to coronavirus

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect industries across the US, news of how groceries, foodservice companies and consumer packaged goods producers are responding to the outbreak drew in SmartBrief’s food and beverage readers this week.

A popular story this week was the news that Minnesota, Michigan and Vermont were the first three states to declare grocery employees as essential workers. The designation allows these workers to obtain free child care during the pandemic. Also on the list of top stories was news about the measures several grocery retailers have taken to curb the spread of the virus, such as Hy-Vee’s temporary installation of window panes in checkout areas and Trader Joe’s choice to close locations in New York and Maryland while limiting the number of shoppers in stores across the country.

In consumer packaged goods news, efforts by manufacturers to keep up with demand during the outbreak were heavily read about by readers. Procter & Gamble’s largest plant -- which produces Charmin toilet paper, Bounty paper towels and Pampers and Luvs diapers -- has been exempt from Pennsylvania’s statewide shutdown order and has continued to operate. PepsiCo is hiring 6,000 new workers to meet production needs as well as raising pay for its current employees and committing to full pay and benefits for workers affected by coronavirus.

And the most-clicked story this week: news about the mandate under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requiring companies with employee counts under 499, such as restaurants, to provide sick leave compensation to workers affected by coronavirus. On the foodservice front, readers were also intrigued by news that some restaurants have pivoted to selling ingredients that consumers can cook at home to cope with lost business during temporary closings.

Check out the complete list of this week’s top 10 most-clicked stories in SmartBrief's food and beverage briefs:

  1. Law calls for companies to cover COVID-19 related absences
  2. 3 states give grocery employees essential worker status
  3. Tenn. district halts meal distribution
  4. P&G plant is exempt from shutdown order in Pa.
  5. Schools rethink playbook for meals
  6. Report: Amazon makes offer on 4 Fairway stores
  7. PepsiCo increases pay, benefits, workforce
  8. Hy-Vee ramps up in-store virus prevention
  9. Restaurants help consumers restock with market items
  10. Trader Joe's closes 3 stores, limits shoppers in others

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