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‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers


CHARLOTTETOWN — A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions.

Island Abbey Foods says sales of its Honibe cough and cold lozenges have declined in the first two quarters of 2021.

The Charlottetown company says in a statement it made the difficult decision to eliminate 30 temporary positions from its production operation.

Island Abbey Foods says 2020 was a tremendous year and it increased its headcount significantly in anticipation of ongoing higher demand.

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The P.E.I. firm says it has continuously adapted to the ever-changing business realities of COVID-19, and has seen substantial gains with its digital retail strategy.

But it says online sales have not replaced the volume the company projected for a regular cold and cough season.