COVID-19: Saputo sees demand shift from food service to retail

Montreal company says it's working hard to keep up with consumer demand

Saputo says it is seeing a shift in demand for its products amid the COVID-19 outbreak as retail sales jumped, but orders from food-service operators fell.

The Montreal-based company says its retail plants are running hard to meet the spike in demand as consumers stockpile food amid instructions to limit social contact.

Executives of the dairy company say they've seen a boost in retail fluid milk and cheese sales in Canada as consumers can no longer cross the border to access cheaper gas and groceries.

The company says food service demand has almost halted, aside from quick-service restaurant outlets that continue to serve meals via takeaway or drive through.

It says some industrial demand remains, such as frozen meal manufacturers, but those that service restaurants, including salad-dressing makers, have shut down.

The company says it is responding by moving production away from its industrial and food-service plants into its retail facilities.

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