+ 387% on pasta, + 142% on flour or + 141% on frozen steaks, according to figures from the specialist firm Nielsen. Sales of brand products Who’s the boss ?! have exploded since the start of containment, even placing themselves above an already growing food market.
In this context, the consumer brand has just taken a radical decision: to donate all of these additional gains linked to Covid-19 to a support fund that will directly help people in difficulty because of the crisis. Nicolas Chabanne, its spokesperson, tells us exclusively about the birth of this project in less than 48 hours and how it will work.
How did you come up with the idea of donating all of your coronavirus income?
NICOLAS CHABANNE. It all came from the milk producers. To avoid the shortage in the face of high demand, we made the decision to remove the cap from the milk cartons. This represents a saving of 1.24 cents per brick. One producer offered to give this penny to caregivers. We had reached out to him a few years ago and today he wanted to do the same. The decision was validated by all producers on Friday.
So the fund was born out of this penny cap?
On Saturday, the excellent Nielsen sales figures fell and we said to ourselves that it was not acceptable that this crisis, which we all share, enrich some and condemn others. We proposed to our 10,000 members to vote on the creation of a “consumer and citizen support fund”, supplemented by the additional gains linked to the epidemic. And they answered a big yes, 97.8%. We put 100,000 € into it, which corresponds to our additional sales in one month. We will probably reach € 200,000 in a month and a half.
Concretely, how will this fund be distributed?
Since it is important that people know where the money is going, the help will be individual and direct. Even if there will be a general framework, we will rely on our members. Everyone can identify a person who has a material or financial need and report their situation. This simple, human, less expert solidarity works very well. It’s the one that makes it work Who’s the boss ?! for three years and living 3,000 families without a hitch.
Who will be the beneficiaries? Only caregivers?
Not only. One can imagine offering, after confinement, to a nurse who could not see her loved ones during the epidemic a week of rest with her family in a nice hotel, now stopped. But we are also considering a partnership with Bouge ton Coq, which comes to the aid, with the association of rural mayors of France, for small vulnerable businesses. We are going to work with Alexandre Mars, who knows the world of sharing well with his Epic foundation, with Miimosa, the collaborative crowdfunding platform for agriculture, with the writer Alexandre Jardin… There are plenty of avenues to support, we does not set a limit.
How will you cope with a massive influx of requests?
It has already started. This is the reason why I call on other profitable companies to join us. It would take three or four big companies to make it snowball. All players are able to identify this part of their turnover which is directly linked to the coronavirus. To us alone, we will donate € 200,000 in a month and a half. Imagine what it would be like if everyone got started!
How can we ensure that the initiative does not fall back like a bellows?
For our part, we have decided to donate 1% of our revenues to this fund on a sustainable basis. But we are only the starting spark. I feel the energy which made the success of C’est qui le patron?!. I believe it. This epidemic has already brought us back to basics. The cards are already redistributed in our heads. Things as important as the spring / summer clothing collection seem futile to us today. We can do things together and find a new balance.