Global glass shortage prompts concerns about UK's bottled beer supply

Now bottled beers could run out! Glass shortage affecting global suppliers of wine and spirits prompts concerns about UK production of lager and ale

  • Global glass shortage sparked concern over bottling in Britain’s alcohol industry
  • Stocks of glass have reportedly plummeted amid rising energy costs in last year 
  • But Dave Dalton, chief exec of British Glass, has insisted fears are overstated

Concerns over the supply of bottled beer in Britain have been rejected by industry insiders after a leading wholesaler warned of global glass shortages that could affect the country’s alcohol industry.

On Monday, Scotland’s largest wholesalers, Dunns Food and Drink, warned of a global shortage because of soaring production costs. 

Stocks of glass plummeted after rapidly rising energy costs and the Ukraine invasion – prompting an approximate 80 per cent surge in glassware prices over the last year. 

Julie Dunn, operations director, warned the shortage could soon impact beer drinkers across the UK.

She said: ‘It won’t be long before the glassware shortages hits UK consumers. Our wine and spirits suppliers from around the globe are facing ongoing struggles that will have a knock-on effect.

‘As a result, there could be less variety in the bottled beers we see on UK shelves.’

But Dave Dalton, chief executive of British Glass, has insisted his industry sees no reason for concern over the supply of beer bottles.

Concerns over the supply of bottled beer in Britain have been rejected by industry insiders after a leading wholesaler warned of global glass shortages that could affect Britain’s alcohol industry. [File image]

He said: ‘British Glass has no concern over the beer bottle supply in the UK. This has been confirmed by our members and does not support the stories which suggest a threat of a shortage.

‘It is the case that there is a high demand for beer bottles across Europe, which could lead to a knock-on effect, but it doesn’t appear that there will be a shortage of bottles produced in the UK based on current demand.

‘One of our members has confirmed, in fact, their production capacity has increased over the last few years, making well over three billion bottles for the UK, NI and Irish markets.’

It had been suggested that the reason for a potential shortage was because of rising energy costs – with prices estimated to have increased by 80% in the last year.

But Mr Dalton has rejected these figures and said while the high demand for beer bottles across Europe could lead to a knock-on effect, there is no current warning of a shortage.

He added: ‘While we do appreciate energy price increases have had an impact on the price of glass, it is significantly less than the 80% that has been quoted and there is more than enough glass to meet demand, which the industry does not foresee changing.’

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink choice among Brits as it accounted for more than £7.1 billion of spend in 2020.

Britain’s drinking habits have changed significantly in recent years, with more than 53 per cent of beer sales happening off trade in 2017, a rise of 20 per cent since 2000. 

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