Dairy retail uplift not enough to offset foodservice losses

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

By Chris Gooderham

Despite the higher retail sales, overall demand for dairy products in GB is currently running around 2m litres per day lower than it was before the Covid-19 lockdown.

The majority of this lost demand comes from lower foodservice sales, although industrial use for cheese is also reportedly down slightly.

The chart below shows the impact based on weekly Kantar retail sales and overlaying the impact from foodservice losses, converted into milk equivalents.

After the initial panic buying and then post-panic lull, overall liquid milk sales have been relatively level with the pre-Covid levels. Foodservice losses have been offset by retail uplift. The same cannot be said for overall cheese demand or other fresh products (which include products like yogurt, crème fraiche, soft cheese, clotted cream and cottage cheese). It is the foodservice losses from these products that means the overall demand for dairy is lower than it was before the lockdown.

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Chris Gooderham

Head of Market Specialists - Dairy & Livestock

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