The COVID-19 crisis has created many unforeseen and surprising issues. Who would have expected a run on toilet paper or an increase in the price of lumber? Yet these are realities.
Another unexpected result (at least to the general public) is a shortage in aluminum cans. And this shortage is causing a variety of financial and logistical problems for small beverage businesses like ORAC Beverages.
Aluminum Cans: An Unexpected Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Why the Shortage?
There are a variety of reasons for the shortage of aluminum cans. During the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, more people began drinking beverages at home as opposed to drinking at restaurants and bars. Instead of a glass at the pub, it was a can of beer at home. Instead of a cup of tea from the local shop, it was a canned tea at the dining table.
The coronavirus crisis also struck at a time when people were likely to consume more beverages, specifically cold beverages. People are just more thirsty in the warm months, leading to greater consumption, all during a moment when this consumption was more likely to come from a can.
Even before the spring of 2020, there was a shift towards cans. For good reason, single-use plastic was losing ground to reusable options like glass and aluminum, significantly driving the demand for cans long before American heard about the coronavirus.
How are Businesses Responding?
To solve this issue, small businesses and brewers are looking towards a variety of strategies. Purchasing empty cans from other brewers’ seasonal beers and beverages is one option. Products that experienced poor sales, label misprints, and leftovers from package redesigns can all be scooped up and reused by small beverage businesses.
Another strategy that some businesses (especially beer companies) have adopted is a shift back to glass bottles. Can had gained popularity among small brewers, but many are pivoting back to bottles in order to keep their products available.
At ORAC, we are taking a comprehensive approach to the can shortage, while doing our absolute best to ensure you can enjoy a refreshing, delicious cascara tea at home or on the go!