Wine and spirits bottlers are facing a shortage of glass bottles that may make it hard for consumers to find their favorite liquor SKU this holiday season.
The pandemic, the Trump administration’s trade war with China, and surging demand are all combining to make glass bottles harder to find for many wine and liquor producers. One spirits bottler interviewed by CNBC said that she was forced to switch to a bottle supplier in Mexico after her regular supplier in the United Kingdom was shut down by a COVID outbreak.
The chief economist for the Distilled Spirits Council said that bottle manufacturers are concentrating on the most popular sizes, like 750ml and 1.75 liters, and cutting back on ones less in demand.
A glass supplier estimated that before the Trump administration, 60% to 70% of America’s glass bottles were made in China. After trade sanctions were imposed on China, orders began to shift to suppliers in Europe and South America. When lockdowns hit, they lasted longer in those regions than in China, roiling the supply chain for glass bottles.