Aluminum Can Shortage: Beer and Soda Companies Struggle to Package Product

Aluminum cans

Da shit just got real!!!!

source: USA Today

As beer and soda consumption shifts from restaurants to homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, beverage companies and canmakers are having a hard time keeping up.

A shortage of aluminum cans is crimping supplies of certain drinks, industry officials said.

“Aluminum cans are in very tight supply with so many people buying more multi-pack products to consume at home.”

Ann Moore

Can manufacturers announced plans to build at least three factories within the next 18 months, but that won’t solve the immediate supply issues.

Much like manufacturers weren’t prepared for a sudden rush of Americans buying toilet paper in the early days of the pandemic, canmakers and beverage companies weren’t ready for drink consumption to go from the tap to the home.

“The can industry is working 24/7 on meeting the unprecedented demand.”

Robert Budway
President, Can Manufacturers Institute

The raw material for aluminum can production is not in short supply. It’s the capacity to produce the cans that’s lacking.

“The aluminum beverage can manufacturing industry has seen unprecedented demand for this environmentally friendly container prior to and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Aluminum Association, an industry group representing the metal’s manufacturers, said in a statement. “Many new beverages are coming to market in cans, and other long-standing can customers are moving away from plastic bottles due to ongoing environmental concerns around plastic pollution. Consumers also appear to be favoring the portability and storability of cans as they spend more time at home.”

Canmaker Ball Corp. will open two new plants in America by the end of 2021 and add two production lines to U.S. facilities. In the short term, the company is working with its foreign plants to distribute cans to the North American market.

Ball spokesperson Renee Robinson said the company experienced increasing demand for aluminum cans before COVID-19 from a surge of interest in hard seltzer and sparkling water. COVID-19 ushered in an “unprecedented surge in demand” and “short supply” of certain canned drinks, Robinson said in an email.

In some cases, beverage makers suspended output of products that sell in low volumes, so they can focus on their bestsellers. Beer maker Molson Coors did this in May amid what it called an “unprecedented shortage of 12-ounce recyclable aluminum cans.”

Another shortage! Beer, soda makers struggle with aluminum can supply, plan to limit niche drinks

Calamity Jane