The US is facing another type of shortage during the coronavirus pandemic — an aluminum can shortage. What does that mean for Americans? The can shortage could result in a temporary halt to your favorite beers and soft drinks.
“Aluminum cans are in very tight supply with so many people buying more multi-pack products to consume at home,” Coca-Cola spokesperson Ann Moore explained, USA Today reports.
Now, companies selling products in aluminum cans are having to shift gears. CNN reports that brewers like Molson Coors, Brooklyn Brewery, and Karl Strauss are cutting back on the brands they sell.
”Everyone who makes anything that goes into a 12-ounce can is being challenged to some respect,” Adam Collins, Molson Coors’ spokesperson, told CNN.
Why the US Can Shortage?
Like the ongoing coin shortage, consumers’ changing habits during the coronavirus pandemic led to companies changing production. Beer that would typically sell in kegs at restaurants and bars is now needed in retail stores, in aluminum cans. Or, consumers who drink soda at restaurants are now opting to buy soda in bulk at stores.
Changes in alcohol trends have also contributed to the aluminum can shortage. The shift to drinking hard seltzers, like White Claw, created shortages in the tall, slim 12-ounce cans seltzers and light beers are often packaged in.
Collins told CNN that these trends have caused companies like Molson Coors to focus on producing their bestsellers (Blue Moon, Coors Light) over their smaller brands. Likewise, Karl Strauss is dialing back on seasonal beers and special releases in favor of maintaining popular brands.
While US can producers are adding lines and building new facilities to keep up with demand, they aren’t going to be fully operational for at least another year.
”Can supply is a big deal,” said Paul Gatza, a senior vice president for the Brewers Association. “We are seeing extended wait times for can orders and also some of the smaller players not having orders fulfilled. Expect to hear more about can shortages across beverage companies.”