As we approach the one year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, reports of changing consumer habits have been widely covered. Some shifts in consumer behaviors are obvious—people can’t go out to bars or restaurants so they’re buying more beverages, like soda and coffee, to drink at home—but some of the consequences of these changing habits aren’t quite as evident. Case in point: we’re currently experiencing an aluminum can shortage.
“The big game right now is just figuring out how to get our hands on as many cans as we can,” says David Racino, CEO of American Canning. On February 2, 2021, the Brewers Association (BA), a trade organization that represents craft brewers, sent an open letter to can manufacturers and the Can Manufacturers Institute requesting swift access to more aluminum. “Some brewers are learning their purchase orders for Q1 deliveries have been canceled,” BA President and CEO Bob Pease writes. “Others are being told that they will not be able to get cans until the second quarter of 2021.”
Although beer represents a large percentage of increased aluminum consumption, they’re not the only ones struggling to shift to cans as aluminum shortages persist. “The soda fountain business went away. And so the big soda company has also shifted a lot of their product into cans, which put a really really big strain on the supply chain,” Racino said. “When Anheuser Busch, Molson Coors, Dr. Pepper, Coca Cola can’t get their cans, it’s so much more difficult for the little guys.”
Despite the pandemic, experts warned of future aluminum shortages. “This can shortage has been brewing for quite a while, but it was exacerbated by COVID-19,” says Neil Reid of “The Beer Professor.” a blogger who shared his expertise in an interview for The Daily Record. “Soft drinks, hard seltzers and even cold coffees are being canned.”
While the problem has been exacerbated by the pandemic, we’ve been plummeting towards an aluminum shortage for years. But there’s always been a better option readily available.
Bag-in-box is a simple packaging solution that is both sustainable and easy to transport. Switching from aluminum to bag-in-box is shown to reduce greenhouse gases by 79% and produce half as much post-consumer waste. Bag-in-box also provides a built-in shipping solution and makes sending products using ecommerce platforms effortless and cost-effective. This is especially critical because the shift to ecommerce isn’t simply a blimp due to COVID-19, but rather an acceleration towards anticipated changes in consumer habits.
We’ve heard so many people talk about the “new normal” in terms of how COVID-19 has irrevocably changed the way we live our lives. That sentiment can be further extrapolated to the way we consume goods. Aluminum shortages and the shift to ecommerce are here to stay, and Scholle IPN is ready to provide bag-in-box solutions that meet shifting consumer habits.
Contact Scholle IPN today to learn more about our bag-in-box solutions for beverages.