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To Show Appreciation, Kroger Offers Employees Slightly Discounted Pepsi

As a thank you to the grocery store employees doing essential labor during the coronavirus pandemic, Kroger is offering employees upward of TWO Pepsis for $1 each

External shot of a Kroger
Kroger
Shutterstock

When times are tough, it’s the uplifting stories that keep us going. Restaurant owners donating food to hospital workers. People delivering groceries to their elderly neighbors. Here, we have an inspiring move from Kroger, which is offering employees Pepsi 20oz sodas for the discounted price of $1. Limit two per transaction, Dr. Pepper not included. As Mr. Rogers said, look for the helpers!!

At first glance, this flyer appears to lie in that uncanny valley between “obviously a shitpost” and “oh god, society is so bad that this might actually be real.” It was circulated by Twitter user @CowlonFullerton, who tells Eater he first saw the deal posted on the Kroger employee website, and found the image of the flyer in a post about it on Reddit. It reads this once-in-a-lifetime offer, which can only be redeemed with an associate loyalty card, exists because Kroger’s associates “continue to inspire us all during these extraordinary times.” And only inspiring people deserve slightly discounted Mountain Dew.

After reaching out to find out like, why?, a Kroger rep specified that the company offers associates various perks and discounts throughout the year, pandemic or not. They also noted Kroger recently announced more robust Emergency Paid Leave policy and other benefits, such as an extra $2 an hour above base pay for hours worked between March 29 and April 18, and “$5 million [available] through our Helping Hands fund to provide financial support to associates experiencing hardships due to COVID-19, including child care costs.” But cheaper-than-normal Mug Root Beer just hits different when the wording around the deal is all about “these extraordinary times.” It absolutely seems like something a corporation would toss at employees to make them feel appreciated while still putting them on the front lines of a pandemic.

To put that last point into context, four Kroger employees in Michigan recently died from novel coronavirus-related illnesses. “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of four Kroger family members...” Ken DeLuca, president of the Kroger Co. of Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press. “We are mourning along with their families during this extraordinarily difficult time.” Workers at other groceries have called for hazard pay, PPE, and safer working conditions as more are beginning to fall ill. Dollar soda ain’t it.

Besides, it seems like Kroger employees have access to even cheaper soda anyway.

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