Soft drink manufacturers were affected by an aluminum can shortage in 2021 as restaurant and hospitality sales decreased and more companies looked to package products for retail sale. This led to increased demand for aluminum cans. In November 2021, Ball Corporation, one of the largest can manufacturers in the world, announced that it would increase the minimum order for printed aluminum cans from one to five truckloads per SKU for customers without supply contracts. The company also stated that it will no longer warehouse inventory on behalf of customers. The news caused concern that smaller soft drink manufacturers and craft breweries would be negatively affected by the changes and Ball Corporation has agreed to postpone the implementation of the new rules until March 1 2022.
One challenge for soft drink manufacturers in the coming years is an increasingly health conscious consumer base. New Orleans recently enacted a ban on soft drinks on kids’ menus in restaurants. The ban which will come into effect in January 2023 will see water, milk or fruit juice as the default options for kids’ meals in an effort to educate children about healthy beverage options and reduce childhood obesity. If successful, this could lead to other soft drink bans.
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