The Things Cape May Has Done To Survive an Aluminum Can Shortage

While breweries are having to find ways to compensate for the lack of cans they are able to receive from manufacturers, Cape May Brewing Company was able to adapt quickly when they heard about a possible shortage.

Cape May has weathered the can shortage reasonably well,” said Brandon Greenwood, Vice President of Operations. “There are a couple of key reasons for this. First, we heard rumblings that can ends were likely to be in tight supply in 2020, so we stocked up with enough to get us through the summer demand. This, coupled with what we were able to procure on a monthly basis, did the trick.

Secondly, and more importantly, we signed an exclusive can supply agreement with Ardagh, and I am glad we did. They did their best to keep us running through an extremely difficult time. Our packaging manager and our Ardagh CSR are tight now.”

Even being able to predict the shortage didn’t mean the New Jersey brewery was without problems. A couple of canceled orders did result in some beers unable to be packaged, but Cape May got a canning line in June 2019 with an integrated can labeler that saved the day this year.

“This was clutch in those instances when we couldn’t get printed cans because it gave us the option to run labels on brite cans,” Greenwood said. “It’s not the ideal situation to have labeled and printed cans side-by-side on the shelf, but our marketing team and world-class art design partner, Canales & Co. of Austin, Texas, did a fantastic job in minimizing any aesthetic differences.”

The small but necessary sacrifice was the brand imagery.

“At the end of the day, it’s far better to have cans on the shelf than it is to have an empty set.  You can’t win the game if your best players aren’t in it,” Greenwood added.

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