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.
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 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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