CO2 shortage still hitting soft drink stocks at supermarkets

Earlier this summer, a shortage in supply led to crumpet production being halted 

Caitlin Morrison
Monday 13 August 2018 15:30 BST
Sainsbury's said it will be 'fully stocked again soon'
Sainsbury's said it will be 'fully stocked again soon'

Sainsbury’s and Co-op are still feeling the effects of the carbon dioxide shortage that hit soft drink and beer suppliers earlier this summer.

The UK faced widespread shortages of beer, soft drinks and even meat in June, due to a longer than usual break in production of ammonia, one of the key sources of food grade CO2 in Europe – which is used to carbonate drinks and preserve some packed fresh foods.

At one point, Warburtons was forced to stop making crumpets at two of its four bakeries because it didn’t have enough carbon dioxide.

Asda was forced to ration the amount of fizzy drinks customers were permitted to buy while Booker, the UK’s biggest food and drink wholesaler, limited beer and soft drink sales to thousands of pubs, bars and shops across the country.

A number of Sainsbury’s branches are still reporting low stocks of sparkling water, citing the CO2 shortage as the cause of “poor availability”.

A sign in a London Sainsbury’s

A spokesperson for the supermarket said: “Some stores are running low on certain lines but a wide range of alternatives are available and we’ll be fully stocked again soon.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Co-op said the convenience store chain is still experiencing "some localised availability issues", but added that "more deliveries of sparkling water are hitting our shelves".

Earlier this summer, Wetherspoon’s warned it was at risk of running out of beer during the busy World Cup period.

A spokesperson for the British Retail Consortium said in June that it was aware of “specific pressures in some areas such as carbonated soft drinks, beer, British chicken and British pork” as a result of the CO2 shortage.

Morrisons and Asda said stock was no longer being affected by a shortage of carbon dioxide.

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