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Dr Pepper shortage as demand soars and can supplies struggle

Dr Pepper has become the latest brand to be hit by shortages amid the pandemic, as demand for the fizzy drink increases and other brewers warn of aluminum can supply struggles. 

The brand acknowledged on social media Monday that soda fans are struggling to get their hands on the popular drink, with a shortage across all of its flavors including its newest addition Dr Pepper & Cream Soda.

‘We know it’s harder to find Dr Pepper these days. We’re working on it – hang tight!’ it tweeted. 

The company said it is ‘doing everything we can to get it back into your hands’ including ‘working with our distribution partners to keep shelves stocked nationwide, while ensuring the safety of our employees’.

Keurig Dr Pepper told DailyMail.com its low inventory is due to a surge in popularity, after sales of the soda ‘increased consistently over the last four years’. 

‘Rest assured we’re working with our local distribution partners experiencing low inventory levels in certain markets to meet this increased demand, and we encourage every loyal Dr Pepper fan to continue checking their local retailer for their favorite varieties,’ the company said in a statement. 

Toilet paper brand Charmin tweeted its support of the company following Monday’s social media statement. 

‘Welcome to the club. We feel your pain,’ it replied to Dr Pepper, referring to the shortage of toilet paper after frantic shoppers stockpiled items as the virus began to ravage America back in March.   

The challenge to keep Dr Pepper on store shelves across the nation comes as drinks companies have been hit by a shortage in aluminum cans, driven by a change in drinking habits amid the pandemic. 

Panicked shoppers stockpiled grocery items including canned drinks and foods back in the spring as the outbreak spread across America, stores shuttered and states issued stay-at-home orders.

Scenes of grocery stores with depleted shelves became a common occurrence and several items – in particular toilet paper, canned goods, bottled water and cleaning products – were in short supply as people bought up hoarded emergency supplies. 

Demand for aluminum cans then continued to rise as bars and restaurants closed, and shoppers turned to buying cans of beers and seltzers such as White Claw to drink in the safety of their homes. 

‘Beverages in convenient take-home packages like aluminum cans are particularly popular right now, and beverage company employees are doing all they can to make sure store shelves remain fully stocked,’ Danielle Smotkin, spokesperson for the American Beverage Association told DailyMail.com in a statement.   

Brewers have since been forced to prioritize aluminum can supply toward their most popular brands, with Karl Strauss halting production of seasonal beers and Brooklyn Brewery focusing on its best-selling drinks. ​​ 

It is not clear whether the aluminum cans shortage is a factor in the current supply issues Dr Pepper is facing. 

Yet, the future of the supply of aluminum cans is now shrouded in more uncertainty after President Trump hit Canada with a re-imposition of high tariffs on aluminum from its northern neighbor.

The 10 percent tariff first went into place in 2018 but was lifted last year. 

Trump announced this month the tariff will be restored from August 16. 

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