/ Food & Drink

Has the ongoing CO2 shortage affected you?

A shortage of CO2 gas across Europe continues to affect the supply and production of food and drinks. Have you noticed the impact just yet?

The lack of available CO2, which puts the ‘fizz’ into some alcoholic and soft drinks, has led to Asda actually rationing the amount of fizzy drinks available from its online store.

On 1 July, it was reported that Asda’s online customers were limited to purchasing six bottles or multipacks of brands such as Coca-Cola, Fanta and Pepsi.

Food and drink affected

It’s not been the best timing for a CO2 shortage. The World Cup and the recent heatwave have combined to produce a higher demand for beer, with many people throwing BBQ parties and enjoying England’s success.

And it’s not just drinks that a lack of the gas can impact on – CO2 is also used in the slaughtering of livestock, as well as extending the shelf-life in fresh meat and salad packaging.

A long-term problem?

So, could we actually run out of fizzy soft drinks, beer and meat!?

While the temporary closure of some UK and European factories has curbed production, it seems unlikely supplies could completely run out unless the shortage became extremely prolonged.

I recently spoke with someone inside the industry (who preferred to remain anonymous) and was told:

“Suppliers are now sourcing CO2 from as far away as Northern Africa. They’re doing their best to keep customers happy by prioritising the most popular products – so customers may struggle to find lesser-known brands on the shelves in the coming weeks”

With the resulting depleted stock and inconsistent production, it means that shoppers may struggle to find the usual deals and promotions they might expect – especially during popular summer sporting events.

Have you noticed the CO2 shortage during your weekly shop? If so, have you had to spend more as a result? Let us know if you’ve been affected.

Comments
Member

We posted about this in the Lobby more than a week ago. It seems three UK factories were taken offline for maintenance. Strange time to do maintenance.

Member

I must have missed those, Ian (can happen sometimes!) – I’ll go in and take a look – would be good to feature some of your comments here.

Member

It’s here, George: 25th June.

Member

Thanks Ian. I’ll have a read and see what I can work in 🙂

Member

@carneades Thanks again Ian – I’ve updated so the convo now features your comments. Always happy to link these things up from the Lobby.

Member

Not really a strange time, co2 is a byproduct of the fertiliser manufacturing process. Farmers don’t need so much during the summer. And a fall in global ammonia prices means it has been cheaper for British fertiliser producers to buy in ammonia from abroad instead of producing it in the UK. Hence to save money they’re all doing maintenance at the same time.

Member

The only beer I buy is real ale and that must not be carbonated. In fact the brewers collect and sell the surplus carbon dioxide. I don’t buy fizzy drinks.

As far as I know, there are alternatives to using carbon dioxide to help increase the shelf life of packaged meat.

Member

I actually dislike fizz intensely, and often make my own drinks from Dandelion and Burdock, Cream soda and coke, which I then stand in the ‘fridge before drinking. They become wonderfully flat.

Member

Good to know you’re a fellow ale drinker, wavechange 🙂 I often get strange looks when all my friends opt for lager and I’m the only one asking for a ‘proper’ drink!