In the U.S., consumer concern has escalated with daily reports of newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), amidst ongoing cancellations of major entertainment events and business conferences, airline cutbacks, postponements of professional sports leagues, and school closings. Citizens are also now being asked to stay indoors and keep their contact with others to a minimum.1
Consumers are complex, with powerful emotions and expectations that are influencing relationships and engagement with brands like never before. It is broadly believed that emotions are the basis for 80% of the decisions a person makes in a day1, yet—beyond marketing—few companies appropriately and intentionally act upon how and when emotions impact their customers’ impression of their brand.
Retailers have remarkable political and economic influence in the food system and an integral responsibility to demonstrate good corporate citizenship through corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR refers to a company’s practice of taking responsibility for its effects not only on the environment but also on people’s social well-being, going beyond just sustainability.