Aluminum shortage impacting cat food, canned beer, and more

Experts predict issue may linger well into 2023

FILE - In this March 5, 2015, file photo, Budweiser beer cans are on ice at a concession stand at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla. The maker of Budweiser is partnering with medical cannabis company Tilray in a $100 million deal to research cannabis-infused drinks for the Canadian market. The alliance announced Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, is the latest foray by a major beer company into the cannabis business in Canada, which legalized recreational marijuana in October. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) (Gene J. Puskar, Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

Shortages continue to plague grocery stores and now the latest victims appear to be cat food and canned beer.

That’s because aluminum is in short supply right as demand is increasing.

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“We are actually having aluminum demand spikes within the United States and around the world,” said Seckin Ozkul, assistant professor of supply chain management at the University of South Florida.

Ozkul says we can blame labor shortages, the pandemic and the on-going supply chain crisis.

Production isn’t meeting up with demand and China’s pollution crackdown is driving down aluminum manufacturing even further.

“This basically decreased the production by approximately 10-20% worldwide,” Ozkul said.

Ozkul says pet adoptions soared during the pandemic and are still strong raising that demand for cat food and as some retailers take measures to eliminate aluminum packaging.

Aluminum isn’t the only problem cat food sellers are dealing with.

“We don’t have enough meat products that go into that cat food,” Ozkul said. “And the main reason really for this is our workforce.”

The aluminum shortage and price increases are also having a major impact on small breweries across the country.

Demand for aluminum canned products skyrocketed during the pandemic as alcohol consumption rose and breweries shifted to to-go models.

“Pretty much everything has gotten more expensive, most notably our packaging, the aluminum cans, lids and really anything we use connected to the product,” said Kyle Cebull, CEO of Millennial Brewing.

Experts predict this is an issue that may linger for several more months and well into 2023.