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How Craft Beverage Makers Are Overcoming the Can Shortage

When the coronavirus shutdown kicked into high gear, the beer taps turned off and people started drinking at home. That, coupled with the growing consensus that cans are better than bottles for craft beverages, has contributed to a nationwide aluminum can shortage. And while true that the smaller brewers are hardest hit by the deficit — big boys like Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch take priority with manufacturers – we’re pulling out all the stops to keep our clients content! Keep reading to learn how craft beverage makers are overcoming the can shortage, with CanSource.

The Can Crunch

Toilet paper wasn’t the only thing nervous consumers started hoarding when the COVID crisis hit. Canned food began flying off the shelves, as did beverages, (because it’s much easier to carry out a case of cans than a bag of bottles!) Add this exponential purchasing acceleration, to an already increasing trend toward canned beverage consumption, and it’s easy to see why we’re experiencing a shortage of cans.  

[The] can share of the U.S. beer and hard-seltzer market rose from 60% to 67% in the first quarter. [source] National Beer Wholesalers Association

12 oz Can’ts

While demand for all sizes has steadily risen over the years, the 12 oz can remains king. As such, the standard size can is the most difficult to buy in the midst of a shortage, a trend expected to continue into next year. The closure of bars and restaurants, in late March, is cited for fueling the shortfall of cans — as demand for kegs plummeted and alcohol-to-go was permitted by law. Currently, the lack of cans is significant enough to prompt Coca-Cola into warning that some of its lesser sold brands — Pibb, Cherry Coke Zero – may, soon, be hard to find in cans.

Cans for Keeps

Some of the bigger companies predicted an uptick in can sales and started stockpiling aluminum before the pandemic hit, and don’t expect them to let up when it’s over. According to Nielsen, previously on the decline, canned food sales soared 23.5% in the six months leading up to June. And food and beverage companies are betting on the trend remaining. While breweries are gearing up to massively increase production over the next 12 months, American manufacturers are opening new plants, aiming to produce 12 billion more cans by the end of 2021.  

How CanSource is Helping

Ball’s in Our Court

Like we said earlier, in the midst of a can shortage, beverage giants like Boston Beer and Molson Coors get priority service. As you might imagine, that doesn’t leave a lot of inventory for microbreweries and canned wine crafters. CanSource has a contract with Ball Corporation, however, so we always have a reliable supply of packaging for your craft beverage. 

Here’s a little information about Ball Corp.:

  • Largest producer of aluminum cans in the world
  • Thirteen production plants and five research and development facilities in Europe
  • 18,700 employees across five continents with plants in Germany, France, Poland, Russia, and the UK
  • Noteworthy participant in the global 2 Piece Cans Market arena

Ball Corp is revered for its automated processes, top-notch employees, and ability to keep up with market demand. CanSource has you covered!

Cans From Other Lands

As the can shortage continues, the Can Makers Institute reports that, this year, manufacturers are expected to import more than two billion cans from overseas. Though we’ve not yet made a purchase, CanSource is diligently researching international can suppliers to ensure our clients keep on crafting!

Can Do (Over)

One of the best things about shrink sleeved cans is that they can be relabeled! If you have excess empty can inventory, of discontinued varieties or decades old branding, put it to good use. We can re-sleeve those cans with whatever is currently flying off the shelves! 

Who We Serve 

It’s on the homepage of our website, but it’s worth repeating here:

We work with craft beverage makers of all sizes and types. From makers of craft beers, wines and RTDs, to artisans of non-alcoholic craft beverages like sparkling water, cold brews and kombucha. CanSource is the leading shrink sleeve label maker for aluminum cans in the U.S., specializing in custom packaging for the craft beverage industry. With four facilities strategically located across the U.S. we’re able to serve customers from around the country with efficiency and speed.

We look forward to working with you! Contact us for more information

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