Something is brewing: will there soon be a beer bottle emergency in Switzerland? Logistics problems, an uncertain energy situation, too little production capacity due to the Ukraine war – there are a number of indications that this is the case. “It is currently unclear whether there will be an acute shortage,” says Christoph Lienert. But, according to the Vice Director of the Swiss Brewery Association: “We have been experiencing a tense procurement situation for a long time.”
In the beer nation of Germany, breweries are expecting bottle shortages by summer at the latest, reports German media. “Switzerland is not a special case,” says Aurèle Meyer to Blick. According to the boss of the Locher brewery in Appenzell, production and raw material shortages have a transnational effect.
Glass factory damaged in war
“We are currently receiving bottles. At the beginning of spring, however, there were already bottlenecks with certain formats,” Meyer continues. The readiness to deliver over the summer depends on the glass manufacturers, for example Vetropack.
The company from Bülach ZH is the leading manufacturer of glass packaging in Europe. The Vetropack factory in Gostomel, Ukraine, was badly damaged in early March. “There may be delays in delivery times in Switzerland,” says Vetropack spokeswoman Sabrina Oberholzer on request. In order to intercept major bottlenecks, discussions are being held with long-term partners.
Large brewers such as Feldschlösschen and Heineken Switzerland are therefore cushioning the tight supply situation thanks to long-term supply contracts. You will be given preferential treatment. Small and medium-sized breweries are likely to be more concerned about bottle refills.
Bottle prices are going up
The scarce supply situation and the increase in procurement costs are also a concern for the largest independent Swiss brewery, Locher. Because in summer the thirst for beer increases, and with it the need for bottles. “Prices have already risen by 50 percent in recent months,” says Meyer.
Lienert from the Brewery Association confirms the price increases for glass bottles. Those who can now fill their warehouse with as many containers as possible, says the deputy director.
This also applies to the largest Swiss brewery, Feldschlösschen, a subsidiary of the Danish Carlsberg brewery. “The situation has come to a head and is currently very volatile,” says spokeswoman Gaby Gerber. “Switzerland is affected by various delivery problems.”
Because not only glass bottles are difficult to obtain, but “also cans and of course beer glasses,” the Feldschlösschen spokeswoman continued.
It is still assumed that the demand can be met. But the first breweries could soon be without bottles. At the same time, the Vetropack Group is announcing further price increases for the current year. cheers meal!
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