Over the last few weeks we have seen panic buying across Canada due to Covid-19 and that has created temporary shortages across our grocery store network.
Reports suggest that 25% of households have enough food to last 3-4 days, so it likely that the majority of people “panic” buying have been in that group. But the Canadian food supply chain is rather robust and has had a few weeks to adjust to this problem. Unlike natural disasters or recent rail blockages that disrupt logistics system, the virus is unlikely to have the same impact and generally speaking, the Canadian food supply chain can handle it.
Therefore long-term outages of products are unlikely. Canada is also a major producer of packaged food items, but the impacts of Covid-19 will be slightly lessened as that sector is moving more and more to the automation of food processing with less humans directly required in production, but still a large number of people required for logistics and distribution.