PEI

'Almost non-existent' cold, cough season costs 30 jobs at P.E.I. lozenge plant

Island Abbey Foods, makers of Honibe cough and cold lozenges, is eliminating 30 temporary staff at its Charlottetown production plant.

Island Abbey says it will have to cut temporary positions in face of falling demand

Island Abbey Foods says the almost non-existent cold and cough season is to blame for the layoffs. (Carolyn Ryan/CBC)

Island Abbey Foods, makers of Honibe cough and cold lozenges, is eliminating 30 temporary staff at its Charlottetown production plant.

The P.E.I. company is putting the blame on the "almost non-existent cold and cough season" so far this winter, as potential customers wear masks, stay two metres away from others and practise good hand hygiene. 

"Cold and cough season is almost non-existent this year, which has resulted in a decline of our lozenge business for the first two quarters of 2021," Scott Spencer, president and chief operating officer of Island Abbey Foods, said in a statement to CBC News.

"While we have seen substantial gains with our digital retail strategy, it does not replace the volume we projected in anticipation of a regular cold and cough season. Therefore, unfortunately, we've made the difficult decision to eliminate 30 temporary positions from our production operation.

The company says demand for its Gummie Bees multivitamins and other health products continues to be strong, and planning is well underway for an expansion to meet those demands.

"2020 was a tremendous year at Island Abbey Foods," said Spencer. 

"We increased headcount significantly across our company to meet higher than anticipated demand and position our company for success. Like other businesses, we are continuously adapting to the ever-changing business realities that COVID-19 is imposing on the world."

More from CBC P.E.I.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wayne Thibodeau

Prince Edward Island

Wayne Thibodeau is a reporter/editor with CBC Prince Edward Island. He has worked as a reporter, editor, photographer and video journalist in print, digital and TV for more than 20 years. He can be reached at Wayne.Thibodeau@CBC.ca

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now