Can Maker Struggles to Meet Demand

Feb. 24, 2021
Ball Corp., the leading U.S. can manufacturer, says its biggest problem during the pandemic has been keeping up with demand.

Ball Corp., the leading U.S. can manufacturer, says its biggest problem during the pandemic has been keeping up with demand.

Net sales for North American beverage packaging were up 7%, to $5.08 billion, in 2020 over 2019. Comparable operating earnings in that segment were up 23%, to $683 million. Demand has been outstripping supply for food and beverage cans all through the pandemic, CEO John Hayes told analysts.

“We are capacity-constrained right now,” Hayes said. “So if you're a still water company thinking about going into cans, it's very tight.” That’s why Ball is increasing investments in capacity. New plants in Texas and Georgia are up to speed, Ball executives reported, while a plant in Glendale, Ariz., is getting under way, and capacity will be increased at other locations.

“Despite the industry capacity coming online, we see the demand continuing to outstrip supply well into 2023,” president and director Daniel Fisher told analysts.

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