Coca-Cola’s British and continental bottling operation has become the latest business to come under pressure from the supply chain crisis, with a “shortage of aluminum cans” hitting supplies.
Consumers have taken to social media to discuss a lack of availability of Diet Coke and Coke Zero in various locations in recent weeks.
Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), which is responsible for making, transporting and selling products including Fanta and Sprite across 29 countries in Europe and Asia, said it had been experiencing “a number of logistics challenges”.
Nik Jhangiani, CCEP’s chief financial officer, said the company had experienced issues with the availability of HGV drivers, but had been concentrating on supply chain management during the pandemic to ensure that it could maintain deliveries to customers.
“We are very happy with how we have performed in the circumstances, with service levels higher than a lot of our market competitors,” Jhangiani said. “There are still logistical challenges and issues, though, as with every sector, and the shortage of aluminum cans is a key one for us now, but we are working with customers to successfully manage this.”
A shortage of HGV drivers, exacerbated by both Covid and Brexit, has left wholesalers struggling to get goods into shops. Late last month, the fast food chain McDonald’s said that bottled soft drinks and milkshakes were temporarily unavailable in some of its restaurants in England, Scotland and Wales as a result of supply chain disruption.
The comments from CCEP came as the company reported that pre-tax profits almost doubled to €520m (£467m) for the six months to 2 July. In the half-year results, it highlighted to investors the impact of the pandemic “on the global supply chain”, saying there had been “increased pressure on CCEP’s ability to source key goods and services at advantageous prices and on a timely basis”.