How are you really feeling? Doritos down under starts conversation on mental health

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Doritos is encouraging young Aussies to be bold and reach out if they need help. Pic: PepsiCo
Doritos is encouraging young Aussies to be bold and reach out if they need help. Pic: PepsiCo

Related tags Pepsico Doritos Mental health Australia ReachOut

The brand from PepsiCo – Australia’s largest snack food company – has partnered with mental health non-profit ReachOut to encourage young people to have a judgement-free conversation about how they’re feeling.

Consumers want brands to do more and use their platforms for good,​ said Vandita Pandey, PepsiCo’s Australia and New Zealand head of marketing.

“Big brands have big platforms [that] have tremendous reach,”​ said Pandey, noting Doritos can be found in every single grocery store across the country.

“We’ve got an opportunity to leverage that scale to drive an impact in places that make sense for consumers and for brands.”

Be bold and reach out

In this case, it was a partnership between Doritos and ReachOut,​ designed to encourage consumers to check in with each other and have an honest conversation about mental health.

Doritos has changed its packaging to feature a ‘Be Bold. Reach Out’ message, along with a QR code that opens ReachOut’s Checking In With Yourself Quiz, designed to help young people track how they’re feeling and provide steps to take if they feel the need for additional advice or support.

“This brand is all about encouraging bold self-expression,”​ said Pandey.

“We want people to feel comfortable being the best version of who they can be, and who they want to be.

“What we found – particularly for Gen Zers – the number one concern is mental health and unfortunately, that has gotten worse in the past two years with COVID.”

Mental health in Australia

A 2020 report from the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW)​ reveals how widespread mental illness is in the region, with one in five Australians reporting a mental or behavioural condition in 2018.

Females (22%) reported a higher proportion of mental or behavioural conditions than males (18%) with respondents in the 15 to 24 age group (26%) reporting the highest level of mental health conditions. In fact, 3 in 5 young Aussies deflect the question or use phrases like ‘I’m fine’, ‘I’m good’ or ‘I’m okay’ up to 10 times a week, 40 times a month and 520 times a year.

When you need help

ReachOut: 1800 55 1800

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

Headspace: 1800 650 890

After the pandemic, mental illness in Australia is at an all-time high, with a whopping 72% of the population having felt emotionally or mentally down in the past year.

Ashley de Silva, CEO of ReachOut, said that finding practical strategies to prevent ‘everyday’ issues from becoming bigger can be really beneficial.

“Being able to check in with yourself and openly acknowledge that you might be having a tough day is such a big and important step in all of our mental health journeys,” ​he said.

Asking a simple question like, ‘How am I feeling on a scale of 1 to 10?’ can help to identify whether to take some time out and practise some self-care.

“We are proud to be partnering with a brand like Doritos to increase youth mental health awareness and encourage people to check in with themselves and each other,”​ added De Silva.

Pandey hopes the partnership will raise more awareness of ReachOut and its “incredible”​ online mental health service that it offers anyone 24/7.

“This initiative directs people to this amazing network and reminds them to check in via approximately 13 million packs in market over the next three months,”​ she said.

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more