The coronavirus has caused a price increase in sodas and beers.
Blame it on unintended consequences. During the shutdown, Americans rarely drove cars meaning we consumed less gasoline. So refineries reduced production of the gasoline additive, ethanol. One byproduct of refining ethanol is carbon dioxide, which puts the fizzy in our sodas and beers.
Carbon dioxide production has fallen by one-third. Breweries are paying 25 percent more for carbon dioxide. Eventually that cost will be passed along to drinkers. Since the country has begun to re-open, production has turned a corner. However, one executive warned, (quote) “We’re rebounding. But it’s from a catastrophic level.”
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola dismissed concerns of a carbon dioxide shortage. The biggest demand in summer months for sodas come from restaurants and sports stadiums. They’re operating at low levels if they’re open at all.