Monday, June 24, 2024

Scarcity of bottles, high aluminum prices create beer shortages

A scarcity of glass bottles and high prices for aluminum and cardboard are contributing to beer shortages in some parts of the country.

According to ANPEC, a national small business association, shortages are most prevalent in the north of the country, but there have also been reports of dwindling cerveza supplies in Mexico City and states such as Guerrero and Guanajuato.

The news website Expansión reported that a lack of glass bottles and high aluminum and cardboard costs are affecting brewers as well as soft drink makers and other manufactures.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, the first beer a distributor near Mexico City ran out of was Dos Equis in 1.2-liter bottles. The dark green glass used by the brand has become hard to source, the news agency said.

“Aside from the shortage of aluminum and glass, there’s a shortage of malt,” said Cristina Barba Fava, director of the Mexican Independent Craft Brewers Association.

Expansión approached the country’s two largest brewers – Grupo Modelo and Heineken México – as well as beer industry group Cerveceros de México for comment about shortages of supplies and beer, but didn’t immediately receive any responses.

ANPEC president Cuauhtémoc Rivera said that shortages have been exacerbated due to higher summertime demand for beer.

“Summer is when the greatest amount of beer is consumed, demand increases in some places by up to 100%,” he said.

Modelo, Pacífico and Carta Blanca have been in short supply in some Mexico City stores.
Modelo, Pacífico and Carta Blanca have been in short supply in some Mexico City stores, like this OXXO.

Rivera also said that businesses’ overall sales suffer if they don’t have enough beer to meet customer demand. “[Beer] is a powerful driver of sales. … A customer goes [to the shop] for beer but ends up adding snacks, cups and even charcoal” for the grill, he said. “That’s why having [sufficient] supply of beer is important.”

Expansión recently visited an OXXO convenience store in the Tlatelolco neighborhood of Mexico City and found refrigerator shelves devoid of brands such as Modelo and Pacífico. The news website said the situation was similar at other convenience stores, supermarkets and tienditas (small neighborhood stores) it visited in the capital. An OXXO attendant said that a shortage of certain beer brands began over two months ago and that she didn’t know when it would end.

The owner of a tiendita in the San Simón Tolnahuac neighborhood said that in recent months she has had to travel to distribution centers outside the borough in which she works and lives to find all the brands and sizes of beer she usually stocks.

“We’ve had problems … [finding] big bottles of all brands and … [there has been] a lack of Carta Blanca,” Isabel Contreras said, noting that if she’s out of beer she loses customers.

In addition to shortages, another downer for beer drinkers is higher prices. Prices of various brands including Corona, Victoria, Carta Blanca and Tecate have recently gone up, according to an El Financiero newspaper report.

With reports from Expansión

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