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Supermarkets in Crisis as Fizzy Drink Shortage Escalates

March 4, 2024 3:39 pm in by

In a surprising turn of events, Australian supermarkets are grappling with a severe shortage of carbonated soft drinks, with shelves noticeably empty and consumers puzzled. This shortage, primarily affecting store-brand soft drinks, has sparked a flurry of online speculation, particularly on Reddit, where customers are seeking answers. Concerns were raised when popular options like Coles brand diet lemonade and Woolworths sugar-free drinks became scarce, leaving shoppers wondering about the sudden disappearance.

A spokesperson from Woolworths has shed light on the situation, confirming to ABC that a disruption in carbon dioxide (CO2) supplies has led to the shortfall. “We acknowledge the inconvenience this has caused and are exploring all possible alternatives to mitigate the shortage,” said the spokesperson, ensuring customers that efforts are in place to fill the gap with different products until the situation normalises.

The core of the problem lies with Australia’s dependence on two key CO2 suppliers, BOC and Air Liquide, facing their challenges.

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BOC, through their PR agency Primary Communications, has proactively issued a statement regarding the CO2 supply shortage in Australia’s east coast.

“BOC is currently experiencing a short-term CO2 supply shortage on the east coast of Australia. This is due to supply interruptions from several local CO2 sources and issues impacting international freight for imported CO2 product. BOC is prioritising supply for critical medical, safety, and water treatment customers. We are working collaboratively with customers, our CO2 suppliers, and other industry stakeholders to manage the situation. BOC is committed to increasing long-term CO2 reliability and supply for our customers. This includes building a new CO2 processing facility in Victoria, which is expected to be operational in the second half of 2024. This facility will have the capacity to produce 60,000 tonnes of beverage-grade liquid CO2 annually.”

While the duration of this shortage remains uncertain, supermarkets are striving to manage the impact, encouraging customers to explore alternative beverage options available in-store.

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