Dairy feeling radical shifts in consumer behavior


Dairy feeling radical shifts in consumer behavior

A dairy analyst for RaboBank is trying to make sense of the radical shifts in consumer behavior stemming from the coronavirus outbreak.

Ben Laine tells Brownfield it’s a very fluid situation, but the market impact has been sudden and significant.

“As it’s developing, more kind of mandated or company-wide shutdowns of restaurants and other activities (are resulting) in less people going out to eat, which has a big impact on their demand for dairy products.”

He says that shift is favoring retail, with surging sales on many food products, including dairy.

“But it’ll be a disruption to some of these supply chains (because) they weren’t really made for these kind of major immediate pivots from food service outlets to retail all of a sudden. So it’s going to take a little bit to get through this and see what that all means for the medium to longer-term.”

Laine says the net effect of less dairy demand from food service countered by the uptick in retail sales is probably negative overall for milk prices.

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