American's struggles with high inflation and supply-chain logistics could soon spill over to two of this nation's most popular consumer products — beer and candy.
According to USA TODAY, breweries nationwide are experiencing difficulty in finding enough carbon dioxide to clean tanks and carbonate various beer products; and that CO2 scarcity could lead to either a shortage of beer, or tangible price increases for the popular beverage.
Increased shipping costs and higher pricing for malted barley are reportedly wreaking havoc with the distribution of beer products across the country.
Also, USA TODAY says there's a dearth of aluminum-based products, which began during the pandemic period of 2020 and 2021.
In the short term, beer industry experts are hoping these logistical problems will be corrected.
In the long term, however, there are tangible worries of breweries shutting down, according to Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association.
"In a mid-year survey of the association’s membership — about 5,600 U.S. small and independent breweries — some brewers' sentiments amounted to, 'we’re selling as much beer as we were pre-pandemic, but making far less on that beer, and we're unsure how long that is sustainable," Watson told USA TODAY.
The candy shortage comes at an awkward time, just one month from Halloween — one of the four biggest holidays for candy consumption, along with Easter, Christmas and Valentine's Day.
In July, Hershey's began crafting alternative plans for combating a potential candy shortage; but even with that preparation, CEO Michele Buck said the company might have trouble meeting the logistical demands of Halloween.
According to John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, the chocolate and candy industries combined for an 11% sales increase in 2021, compared to the previous year.
This boom marked the second year in which more people were buying candy. From 2019 to 2020, the sales increase reportedly topped out at 15%.
According to Yahoo! News, Hershey's has prioritized keeping shelves stocked in the interim, while a portion of the seasonal production — which typically launches in the spring — has been pushed back.
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