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Packaging Supply Challenges Hit Liquor, Maple Syrup Suppliers & More

Shifts in demand, labor challenges, raw materials shortages, and shipping difficulties have made things tough for the whole pandemic-era economy. However, some challenges are industry-specific.

Any type of packaging that is niche is having issues with lead times and supply chains. The “why” of this situation is not complicated: if there aren't many suppliers of what you want, there is no one else to turn to if your usual supplier is unable to fill your order in time or in the quantity you need.

Maple syrup suppliers are one group hit by this challenge. Real maple syrup is often sold in recognizable plastic jugs, often with the farm’s information printed directly on it. Maple farms are finding their typical lead time to get more jugs has risen to 10 months and longer. Trying to find blank jugs (that don’t have the farm’s customized printing and require adhesive labels) on the secondary market isn’t any easier, and it is also more expensive.

Liquor suppliers are also struggling to have enough of the types of glass bottles they are used to using. While some are able to shift to other types of packaging, liquor bottling rules and customer preferences have made that challenging. Until stocks are refilled, consumers may periodically see shortages of certain products, might find it packaged in a different container, and will certainly see some price increases.

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Packaging area. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.