Chickenjoy supplier Cargill shifts to retail as pandemic chokes restaurant demand


Posted at Apr 29 2020 12:33 PM | Updated as of Apr 29 2020 12:52 PM

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MANILA - Poultry supplier Cargill Philippines said Wednesday it shifted to retail after the COVID-19 pandemic slashed demand from restaurants.

Cargill, which supplies poultry for Jollibee Chickenjoy, turned to new markets such as grocery stores, said its corporate affairs director Chris Ilagan.

Currently, there is an "oversupply" of poultry products, pushing farm gate prices to fall to as low as P30 from P70 per kilo, Ilagan said 

"In the quick service restaurants, we have seen a drastic drop [in demand], the halting of their operations, very minimal coming back online," Ilagan said.

"We have gone into the retail space, we are servicing now groceries, which is beyond us prior to COVID. I guess this is the bright spot and it’s teaching us new ways on how we can potentially serve new markets," he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte extended the lockdown in high risk areas until May 15, where restaurants are only allowed to open for drive thru and deliveries. 

Consumers are likely to stay away from fast food even after the enhanced community quarantine is lifted due to lingering COVID-19 risks, he said.

In general community quarantine areas, where restrictions are fewer compared to ECQ, those aged 20 and below and 60 and above are still required to stay at home, Ilagan said.

"After this COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end and we’re certainly keeping our eyes open on those sort of opportunities," he said.