Colorado local, Coors Brewing has stood the test of time. They sold through Prohibition, World War Two, and now COVID-19. These may seem like insurmountable challenges for a brewery, so how did they survive? During Prohibition, Coors shifted their production capabilities to create porcelain, started producing malted milk and selling it to Hershey, and created a “near beer” product (an alcohol-free version of the original). My allusion to Coors is not just a chance to share a cool piece of Colorado history. Rather, it serves as an inspiration to all the food and beverage companies out there struggling to adapt to our “new normal.” As an industry, we’ve adapted before and we will have to adapt again–those who prove capable of change will endure.
In the time of COVID-19 brands must reach consumers where they are: at home. Many food brands, especially those who rely on trade shows and in-person events or dining, are reeling from the sudden onslaught of COVID-19 changes. The wind of change is causing many companies to close their doors, but some brands are using it to sail new kinds of boats. These food brands are leading the way in terms of agile COVID-19 response.
- Spice brand, Spiceology has pivoted its marketing strategy. They quickly revamped their site to cater to the at-home chef with cooking videos and tutorials, lowered their free shipping cart size, and updated their packaging, all in a few months.
- Daily Harvest is adapting its offerings rapidly to give back to their community, meet the needs of the at-home consumer, and hire out-of-work chefs. They have donated thousands of their smoothies to healthcare workers, launched a new flatbread, and partnered with Neil Patrick Harris to emcee virtual bingo. This smoothie brand has elevated its purpose quickly and effectively.
- Rootine Vitamins is using their expertise for good to compile COVID-19 information in clear layman’s terms. They also have a COVID antibody test in the works and have created a community Slack channel to allow fans to learn more about genetics, immunity, supplements, and nutrition.
- Los Angeles based, Alfred Coffee may have had to close their doors to retail traffic in the past month, but they have since launched their DIY vanilla latte kits and revamped their social media to focus on coffee tutorials to spice up the at-home cup of joe.
- Favour, the CBD chewing gum brand you may not have heard of before 2020, is making big waves with their most recent pivot. They are donating a portion of their profit to No Kid Hungry and hosting an assortment of live streams and workshops focusing on mental health, recipe ideas, and beyond. This is the little gum brand that could! Fair warning, each pack of gum costs $20, but we could all use some CBD right about now.
Are you a Colorado local? Here are a few CO brands that have adapted to the times that you might consider supporting.
- We’d be remiss if we did not address a few examples of the restaurant industry pivoting. Local Denver restaurant, Dio Mio, is creating custom meal kits featuring a different recipe every week and their homemade pasta. You can complement your meal box with a bottle from their coveted wine and have yourself an at-home pasta party.
- The Source, a Denver hotel and eatery, is offering to-go food and curbside services. They are also providing free meals daily for restaurant workers who have been laid off or are experiencing a significant pay reduction. Like many other restaurants, they’ve also started to sell hard to find pantry items.
- Local craft brand, Fancy Tiger Crafts, is selling their in-store experience in the form of craft kits that can be purchased online. They are also hosting free virtual craft nights on Zoom.
Surrounded by challenges we’ve seen brands flourish while finding ways to help their communities. Many brands have operationalized their shipping, delivery, and to-go programs and will be better suited to sell to expanded markets post-COVID. The reckoning for retail has been on the horizon way before COVID, and brands were forced to change or cease to exist overnight. We want to hear from you, how has your brand adapted in 2020?
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