Tim Tams, Monte Carlo and Kingstons fuel pandemic munchies
QUEENSLANDERS are stocking their pantries with more biscuit favourites including Jatz, Tim Tams and Kingston's to survive the pandemic shutdown.
Arnott's Brisbane factory has moved to a six-day week to meeting increasing demand for its key biscuits lines with the company reporting a 6.5 per cent increase in production over the past couple of months.
Arnott's group plant manager Tim Morgan said that due to unprecedented demand caused by COVID-19, the company last month used 7,100 tonnes of flour locally sourced from Queensland, New South Wales and Adelaide.
Mr Morgan said that was a 10 per cent increase from normal and represented an increase of 140 hectares of wheat for the month.
The Virginia bakery on Brisbane's northside, which each year produces 40 million kilograms of biscuits, is home to the Monte Carlo, Kingston, Ginger Nuts, BBQ Shapes and Cruskit lines. The company also has factories in western Sydney and Adelaide.
Mr Morgan said the rush on biscuits at supermarkets during the earlier panic buying had started to taper off but the company was working to keep shelves and warehouses full.
"There has been a lot of pantry stocking with staples like Jatz, Cruskit and Salada," he said. "But there also has been increased demand for our more indulgent lines like Tim Tams. With people working from home they are wanting a snack, which is good for us."
The Virginia bakery had added an extra production line on two shifts and was running a regular Saturday operation.
He said Arnott's also had moved its Cruskits line to a 24 hour operation.
Mr Morgan said managing a workforce of more than 600 workers during the pandemic had been a challenge but it had shown that Australian manufacturers could be agile and innovative.
COVID-19 protection measures have included installing clear barriers between workers to maintain social distancing on manufacturing lines, temperature monitoring for those entering the factory and new wash stations across the site.
"Some of these controls will be in place for a significant period of time," he said.
Originally published as Tim Tams, Monte Carlo and Kingstons fuel pandemic munchies