Pepsi has launched a new campaign called “Dig In” aimed at helping generate sales of at least $100 million for Black-owned restaurants around the country, which have been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic.
Pepsi said its “Dig In” campaign will be a multi-level platform to support Black-owned businesses, which have faced systemic barriers to success on top of the current pandemic slowdown. The campaign is part of a multi-year initiative that will also offer restauranteurs access to resources such as business services, training and mentorship. “Dig In” also intends to highlight the diverse culinary offerings, cultural contributions and rich history of Black-owned restaurants in America.
The campaign’s first ad, “Savor the Sound,” debuted during the playoffs on the NFL Network and will run through Feb. 8 on national TV and NFL.com. The ad spotlighted the “sights and sounds” of four Black-owned restaurants: 7th + Grove, in Tampa, Fla.; Off the Bone Barbeque, in Dallas, Texas; The Breakfast Klub, in Houston, Texas; and Kitchen Cray, in Washington, D.C.
“Our restaurant has stood strong with open doors for 19 years as a Houston mainstay, feeding locals and visitors alike,” said Marcus Davis, founder and owner of The Breakfast Klub. Davis is also a member of the PepsiCo Black Restaurant Advisory Council.
“With the national exposure that Pepsi is providing to businesses like mine, I hope to see a boost in active interest and support of the many Black-owned restaurants shaping the culture and food scene in neighborhoods across America,” Davis added.
Pepsi said it plans to expand its online campaign in early 2021 with the launch of @PepsiDigIn on Facebook and Instagram.
To help restaurants adapt to a changing business landscape, Pepsi has also created Black Restaurants Deliver, a free eight-week consulting program that will help select restaurants build their online ordering and delivery services. Pepsi plans for the program to serve 400 restaurants in over 40 communities over the next five years. The program has already launched in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this year, PepsiCo announced it was committing $400 million to advance racial equality in both its company and the community. As part of the initiative, PepsiCo has dedicated $50 million to supporting Black-owned businesses, including the sponsorship of Black Restaurant Week, a $10 million grant by the PepsiCo Foundation to the National Urban League for the establishment of the Black Restaurant Accelerator program, and a $2.5 million investment in Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership.
Last year, PepsiCo set up an innovation program for owners and operators of quick service restaurants (QSRs).
According to a statement at the time, the beverage behemoth “announced the launch of PepsiCo Foodservice Digital Lab, a first-of-its-kind suite of capabilities built to connect foodservice operators with the companies, services, insights, and solutions best suited best suited for their specific digital and online needs.”
According to a Harris Poll on behalf of Mastercard conducted Oct. 8-13, three-quarters of the 2,017 people surveyed said they planned to shop more consciously and spend at smaller, minority-owned stores. Some 77 percent said they planned to shop local.
The findings, supplemented by the October Mastercard SpendingPulse analysis, show that shopping amid the coronavirus pandemic is prompting consumers to favor stores that align with their own values.
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