A FAMILY-owned dairy with a depot in Wirral has seen demand for the daily doorstep pint of milk increase during lockdown.

In the past 12 months, Morton's Dairies has seen a 30% rise in the number of customers getting pints of milk in glass bottles delivered, with an average of 35,000 pints a day (up from 27,000 a year ago) on its fleet of more than 100 electric vehicles.

As a result, the company has created new jobs and expanded its network of routes across Wirral to support the rising demand for home deliveries of food essentials.

It now employs more than 200 people.

As well as milk, it also delivers bread, cheese, eggs and breakfast goods from its depot in Saughall Massie to customers who sign up online and get free delivery to their doorstep.

It also supplies milk to public and private sector organisations including the NHS.

Julian Harrison, joint managing director, said: "During the first lockdown, we received a massive uptake in new customers on the Wirral and we've seen a 90% retention rate of these customers including during the periods where lockdown restrictions were eased.

"This has given us the confidence that there is a long-term demand for fresh food essentials being delivered directly to people's doors.

"We are adding new postcodes to our delivery network every single day on the Wirral and will add them where customers demand.

"During 2021 we will continue to invest in people, equipment and new products - such as glass-bottled Oat Milk which has been a big seller as people try out dairy alternatives.

"The pandemic has forced local people to look more closely at not just how they buy their groceries but also where they buy them from.

"We work with a variety of other trusted local independent producers of fresh food and we have supported all our suppliers to market their goods to our customers."

Norman Harrison, joint managing director, said: "People have recognised that the milkman plays an essential role in the community and that we’re the 'original' food subscription service.

"We've never gone away and we've delivered milk for nearly 100 years in the local community that we serve.

"We are fortunate to have incredibly loyal customers and a dedicated workforce who have pulled together during this time.

"Our staff in particular, as key workers, are going above and beyond the call of duty and the appreciation that we’ve had on the Wirral has helped massively.

"We;ve been spurred on by the number of people who have sent us kind messages or left us encouraging notes on their doorsteps."