Retail with a conscience

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 4.11.23 pmSumo Salad is building on its manifesto of ‘food with purpose’ with the launch of two new initiatives aimed to give back to the local community.

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The health food retailer has sponsored season three of reality show, The Crew, which goes to air in August on Channel Nine and Go.

The Crew follows the journey of three Bra Boys and best friends, Richie ‘Vas’ Vaculik, Kid Mac (Macario de Souza), and Mark Mathews. The documentary series which has followed the trio’s journey as they each strive to be at the top of their game in music, UFC, and big wave surfing, respectively.

Season three of The Crew will see the boys looking for the next generation of talent, with one winner chosen in each field.

Petra Orrenius, marketing head of Sumo Salad, said the sponsorship will involve donations of food, financial support, mentoring, and coaching from CEO, Luke Baylis, and executive chairman, Mark Maloney, as well as blogging on the company’s website.

“Luke and Mark are involved in the program by mentoring the boys and giving them advice from a corporate perspective. They will advise on what they need to do to gain sponsors and new contracts, and anything else it might be for them to be successful in their fields,” said Orrenius.

“We are hoping to emphasise and show a broader target group in Australia that one part of the puzzle for the members in The Crew to be the best they can be is by eating healthy food,” she said.

This week, Sumo Salad launched a Heat up the Street campaign, partnering with St Vincent de Paul to raise money and awareness for homeless and disadvantaged Australians.

The campaign, which runs until the end of August, will see soup vans across Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Western Australia deliver Sumo Salad ‘Soup Slammers’ to the homeless.

“It’s going to be Vinnies branded, because otherwise the homeless people wouldn’t know to turn up and what to expect and it was important for us that it wasn’t Sumo branded because this is not a gimmick or a stunt, it’s actually something where we want to make a difference and take responsibility as a food supply chain,” she said.

Sumo Salad’s store network is also involved, selling $2 Soup Slammers and encouraging customers to either pay forward the equal amount to donate one soup to a person in need or take a photo with their soup and upload to social media with the hashtag #heatupthestreet, and Sumo Salad will donate one soup to the cause.

“It’s a two way mechanic, so either you as a customer can donate something, or you can take a photo of the soup and Sumo Salad headquarters will donate the cost,” she said.

Sumo Salad set a goal of raising $100,000 for Vinnies through the initiative, but is already on track to far exceed that goal.

“We have always been about eating good and feeling good and now we’re taking it a step further and trying to do good as well.

“The reason we teamed up with Vinnies is because whatever money we collect locally goes back to Vinnies locally, which is a very important thing for our franchisees, because if they have their customers donate money, they can make sure that they help the people in need around the corner.”

This story first appeared in Inside Retail PREMIUM issue 2044. To subscribe, click here.


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