Suave

Unilever employees stand behind their new product Thursday as the company donated Suave hand sanitizer to city and county officials.

JONESBORO — There was no shortage of hand sanitizer at a special ceremony Thursday in Jonesboro.

Unilever, which traditionally makes hair care and other personal hygiene products at its Jonesboro plant, delivered about 2,500 bottles of Suave hand sanitizer to be used by city and county governments. Craighead County Judge Marvin Day said the products would be distributed to emergency service providers throughout the county.

Now, consumers can look forward to seeing the Suave hand sanitizer in local stores.

Kevin Bednarg, interim site leader at Unilever, said the local effort is part of the international company’s commitment to give back to communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, Unilever US announced a donation of more than $20 million worth of products, services and financial support for Americans in need through organizations such as Direct Relief and Feeding America.

Jonesboro’s contribution was the hand sanitizer. Bednarg said the company created an entirely new line within the factory for the special product. Within 11 days of receiving the ingredients the product was rolling off the line. Bednarg said the company selected 18 team members for the special project to get the product in the people’s hands as quickly as possible.

“We hand-picked the best of the best,” Bednarg said. “I couldn’t be more proud of my team. I’m just really excited for them that they have the ability to make a difference in this way.”

Bednarg said Unilever has now developed lines for their new hand sanitizer at many of its plants across the country and around the world.

“There’s a really large demand for this, so we’re just trying to make as much as we can so that we can get it into people’s hands,” he said.