• Kroger employees can purchase 20-ounce bottles of Pepsi soft drinks for $1 through May 12.
  • “Pepsi has partnered with Kroger to offer this exclusive program to Kroger Associates, who continue to inspire us all during these extraordinary times,” reads a flyer sent to stores.
  • During the coronavirus pandemic, many companies have started offering atypical perks, such as candy, pizza, and free lunch. However, these “rewards” have rubbed some workers the wrong way. 
  • After Business Insider reached out to Kroger for comment on this story, a representative said that the grocer would extend its hero bonus until May 2. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Kroger and Pepsi are partnering to give the grocer’s employees an extra perk during the coronavirus pandemic: discounts on soft drinks. 

“Pepsi wants to support the hard work of the Kroger Associates by offering all Pepsi 20oz Soft Drink products for only $1 each,” reads a flyer sent to Kroger stores. “Pepsi has partnered with Kroger to offer this exclusive program to Kroger Associates, who continue to inspire us all during these extraordinary times.”

A regular 20-ounce bottle of Pepsi costs $1.99 at Richmond-area Kroger stores, meaning the promotion offers a discount of about half off.

The discount applies to soft drinks purchased between April 17 and May 12, with a limit of two bottles per transaction.

A Kroger spokeswoman said the company offers its employees freebies and discounts regularly. PepsiCo did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. 

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An employee of a Kroger-owned store in Kansas told Busines Insider that he was grateful for the offer.

“Honestly, I do appreciate the gesture!” he said. “It’s a little silly I suppose, but it’s generally a harmless sign of support.”

The employee said he hoped Kroger would also extend its “hero” bonus, a $2 hourly wage increase applied to hours worked between March 29 and April 18.

After Business Insider reached out for comment on the soft drinks deal, Kroger representative shared on Thursday evening that the grocery chain had decided to extend its hero bonus until May 2. Kroger has also has given hourly employees a $25 grocery credit and bonuses of between $150 and $300.

During the coronavirus pandemic, many companies have started rolling out atypical perks. While some employees have appreciated the gestures, others told Business Insider that they felt certain rewards were more insulting than helpful. 

A Staples manager called the $50 stores received to provide workers with lunch a “slap in the face,” especially as the retailer has not offered extra paid sick leave during the pandemic. Nelson Santiago said he quit his job at Wendy’s after feeling “disrespected and humiliated” when he received a bag of candy from the store’s franchisee, who failed to provide hazard pay to workers. 

“For them to say a simple thank you while they sit in the comfort of their homes with their families protected and reaping the benefits of these chains still being open — it is insulting,” Santiago said. 

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