Demand for milk deliveries rockets amid lockdown

They are a symbol of a bygone era, delivering fresh milk and eggs to doorsteps across the country in the early hours of the morning, before most households are awake.

The demand for milk deliveries have rocketed.

Now, the traditional milkman is making a comeback, due to rocketing demand for contactless doorstep deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic.

McQueens Dairies said the number of milkmen it employs has increased by 62 per cent over the past year to over 400 to meet demand.

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In Fife, where demand has risen at the fastest rate in Scotland, the number of milkmen working for the company has more than doubled, rising 107 per cent to 21.

Overall, the company, founded in 1995 by company chairman Mick McQueen and his wife Meg, has taken on more than 250 new staff and now employs 700 people in its new multi-million pound dairy in East Kilbride and network of distribution depots across central and southern Scotland and the north of England.

Mick McQueen, chairman of McQueens Dairies, said: “At the beginning of 2020 we employed just under 250 milkmen but having experienced a significant increase in demand for our doorstep delivery service during the year that number is now over 400, and it is likely we’ll be looking to recruit further this year as more customers ask us to deliver their milk.”

He said that lockdowns had prompted people to look for contactless delivery methods for many types of items, sparking a higher demand for doorstep milk deliveries.

McQueens operates distributions depots in Glasgow, Edinburgh, East Kilbride, Kirkcaldy and Galashiels, as well as south of the border in Mansfield, Bradford, Warrington, Preston, Stockton on Tees and Carlisle.

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Mr McQueen said: “More and more customers tell us that they really like opening their doors in the morning to a delivery of fresh milk, and that’s being reflected in the number of milkmen we employ. The lockdowns that we have all had to face up to since March have had an impact on consumers’ habits and customers are also telling us that they like the convenience of the safe and reliable milk delivery service our milkmen provide them.

“Across the whole business in the last twelve months we’ve recruited more than 250 new staff, including some from sectors that have been hit particularly badly during the pandemic. We have also opened new distribution depots and a new multi-million pound dairy, and invested in a new, customer focused website that gives customers direct control of their orders and celebrated our 25th year in business. Our customers make our business the success it is and we look forward to continuing to serve them.”

He added: “Across the whole business in the last twelve months we’ve recruited more than 250 new staff, including some from sectors that have been hit particularly badly during the pandemic."

In addition to milk products, the company also delivers orange juice, apple juice and free-range eggs, as well as alternative milk products such as oat and almond milk.

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