Jul 21, 2020

Beer Companies See Aluminum Can Shortage

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a demand for aluminum cans for beverages like beer and sparkling water

beer can shortage

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the capacity to produce raw material for aluminum can production is 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," said the Aluminum Association, an industry group representing the metal's manufacturers, 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. It will also add two production lines to U.S. facilities, reported USA Today. The company is working with its foreign plants to distribute cans to the North American market in order to remedy the issue.

The company experienced an increased demand for aluminum cans before COVID-19, from a surge of interest in hard seltzer and sparkling water. Once the pandemic hit, this created an "unprecedented surge in demand" and "short supply" of certain canned drinks, according to Ball Corp. spokesperson Renee Robinson in an email.

Some beverage makers suspended output of products that sell in low volumes, so they can instead focus on their bestsellers. This happened to Molson Coors and Coca-Cola for instance. 

Coca-Cola's main Twitter account recently responded to customers who were unable to find niche products like Cherry Coke Zero and Pibb.

"We are working to have more stocked for you on the shelves ASAP," said the company to one customer on Twitter.

Read related content about the coronavirus pandemic: