No threat to bottled beer supply because of glass shortage, says industry chief

Dave Dalton of British Glass rejected warnings that rising production costs could lead to a shortage of glass bottles.

25 May 2022

The supply of bottled beer in Britain is under no threat, a leading trade body has said amid fears the industry was on the brink of a glass shortage.

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

Julie Dunn, operations director, said the shortage would 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, said there is no concern over the supply of beer bottles.

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.

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