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Nestle Tells Workers to Prepare for Pandemic 'Storm' to Hit

By Rich Duprey - Mar 23, 2020 at 2:12PM

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The consumer products giant says the full impact of the coronavirus has yet to come.

With the coronavirus pandemic still leading to empty shelves at grocery stores, global consumer goods giant Nestle (NSRGY 3.09%) told employees they need to exert even more effort to ensure the food and drink they produce makes it to store shelves.

In a memo sent to its workers, Nestle CEO Mark Schneider said doing extra now is essential. "Please get ready for the storm to hit," he added, "because hit it will." Nestle employs over 290,000 workers globally.

Lighthouse being battered by rough seas

Image source: Getty Images.

Prepare for the worst

Retailers such as Walmart (WMT 0.08%) have begun hiring more employees to aid in meeting the crush of demand its stores have seen since the pandemic began. To reward them for their efforts thus far, the retailer has raised their pay and given bonuses to hourly workers totaling $550 million.

Yet it has also reduced store hours -- twice -- to give its employees ample time to restock their shelves, which quickly run out of basic items like meat, bottled water, cleaning products, and sanitizers.

Nestle owns a stable of household brands, including Poland Spring and Deer Park bottled water, but also frozen foods such as DiGiorno, Hot Pockets, and Lean Cuisine, as well as beverages like Nesquik, Ovaltine, and Nescafe coffee.

Schneider told Nestle's frontline workers and factory help their commitment was critical to maintaining business continuity. He also said it was important the company be able to secure supplies, manufacturing, and logistics, while building up inventories of critical supplies and products to be able to ship to areas that have yet to be affected by the coronavirus. 


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Nestle S.A. Stock Quote
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