DARTMOUTH, N.S. -- The grocery stores are still one of the few busy places during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While most of the shelves appear to be fully stocked, a new study suggests demand for some items has surged 500 per cent.

Jim Cormier of the Retail Council of Canada is optimistic that shelves will continue to remain stocked.

"Overall, the supply chain is still strong, but there are still challenges," Cormier said.

There are industry adjustments that could one day impact the supply of food being shipped to the Maritimes.

"We're hearing stories of food processing plants having to change their hours because of COVID-19," Cormier said. "That requires permission from Health Canada and food inspection agencies."

Cormier is still confident there will be no alarming shortages.

Dalhousie University professor Sylvain Charlebois agrees. But what's happening outside of Canada is also on his radar.

He says the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. could have an impact on goods shipped north.

"We know Americans don't have a stellar track record when it comes to managing fear," Charlebois said. "And so, that makes me a little bit nervous."

To put it in simple terms: a lot of the products that lands on store shelves in Canada come from the U.S.

Consistent delivery is crucial.

"As long as that pathway remains clear, we should be fine," Charlebois said.

As for how we shop, Ed McHugh,a marketing professor at the Nova Scotia Community College, says moderation is key.

"We need to be in this all together," McHugh said. "And hoarding? There is no need for it."

McHugh says not stocking up is not an easy adjustment for some.

"People in North America tend to be: 'I'm going to fend for myself and my family," said McHugh. "So, our culture is, take care of yourself and our family. It's fed by fear right now."

McHugh says, at times like this, people should also focus on reducing food waste and minimizing what they throw out.