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Ball Corporation raising minimum can order could hurt some Iowa breweries

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 5:46 PM CST
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WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) -The demand for beer is outpacing the supply of the cans that come in. Ball Corporation supplies cans and changed its minimum order from about 200,000 cans per brand, to a little more than 1,000,000 cans.

This could hurt smaller breweries, including Single Speed Brewing in Waterloo. Owner Dave Morgan says only a couple of his beers would meet Ball Corporations’ minimum can order, like “Victory Dance,” or “Tip The Cow.”

They will either look elsewhere, or get blank cans from Ball and pay another company to label them. This is a problem smaller breweries are going to have to face. Morgan says they will get hit harder than the bigger ones.

“You’re probably gonna see some skew reductions where people are going to put less brands out there,” he said. “Ya, you’re going to see some prices go up.”

Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at University of Northern Iowa, Andy Anderson says the demand for cans skyrocketed during the pandemic as breweries shifting toward to-go models. He thinks things will flatten out as more people get comfortable venturing out again.

“I think we’re going to see this go back to the consumption levels,” he said. “And the production level of aluminum cans that we saw pre-pandemic.”

Until that happens, Morgan hopes people understand why they are spending more in the craft beer aisle.

“Be patient with the breweries as you start to see them navigate this kind of a major shift,” said Morgan. “And understand the prices will go up on the shelves, and it’s for a reason.”

Ball Corporation supplies cans and changed its minimum order from about 200,000 cans per brand, to a little more than 1 million cans.

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