As the CO2 shortage enters its second week, National President Mike Mitchelson is warning members to keep an eye on their stock levels and be aware that they may have to shop around as wholesalers ration supplies and manufacturers pause production.
With CO2 supplies not expected to return to normal for more than a week, the NFRN has been speaking to members across the country to establish the levels of impact on supplies of soft drinks, beer and bakery.
Paisley retailer David Woodrow has reported that his local wholesaler is still fully stocked, but in Cleveland Martin Ward said he had never seen the soft drinks aisle at his local Booker “so empty”. In recent days Booker has tightened its restrictions on the quantities of beers and soft drinks that can be purchased.
Lanarkshire retailer Mo Razzaq says he has been lucky so far, describing the situation as a “perfect storm of hot weather and the World Cup”. He continues to monitor his stock and deliveries carefully to avoid shortages.
In Wales, some bottled water products are out of stock, and Booker is restricting future orders to avoid not being able to fulfil them.
Kent retailer Hitesh Pandya reported that his local independent wholesaler is having problems obtaining supplies as the bigger players take the available stock.
Coca Cola UK has told the NFRN that it is still able to meet demand but is not able to predict supply levels for more than a couple of days.
The NFRN will continue to monitor the situation and keep members aware of developments.
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Booker Further Restrict Purchases in CO2 Shortage
28 June 2018
The news media has been reporting that Booker has now reduced the maximum number of cases of cider and soft drinks that can be purchased in one transaction to five cases of each. Purchases of beer are restricted to 10 cases.
When approached, Booker told the NFRN: “Due to the international shortage of CO2, we are experiencing some supply issues on soft drinks and beer. We are currently working hard with our suppliers to minimise the impact for our customers. Where restrictions apply it is for 10 cases of a particular line so a customer can purchase 300 cans of Budweiser with 300 cans of Stella etc per branch per day. This satisfies the vast majority of Booker customers, preserves availability and avoids any ‘sub-wholesaling’.
“We are very grateful for the support of our customers and suppliers as we manage the warm weather, World Cup and some CO2 issues.”