Can’t find your favorite soda at the store? Here’s why

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SAN FRANCISCO – JANUARY 16: Cans of Coca-Cola are seen on the shelf at Tower Market January 16, 2004 in San Francisco, California. Coca-Cola is being investigated by U.S. regulators over allegations raised by a former employee that it had inflated its earnings. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

DALLAS (NEXSTAR) — While the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 may have come to an end, you may notice your favorite sodas or canned drinks are still difficult to come by.

For the last few months, people staying at home have driven up demand for drinks, forcing manufacturers to try and keep up.

“To meet extremely high demand for certain products, we’re temporarily focusing on the availability of those brands,” Coca-Cola tweeted Monday. “Meanwhile, be on the lookout for other packaging as well as plastic bottle options and keep checking back with your retailer.”

In addition to Coca-Cola, social media users are reporting a shortage of certain Pepsi products.

“Please know we’re working diligently to keep products readily available to our consumers,” Pepsi tweeted in response to one user.

A can shortage has caused supply issues for certain drinks and forced companies to shift their production strategy.

According to USA Today, it’s not the aluminum material in short supply but the capacity to turn it into cans.

“The can industry is working 24/7 on meeting the unprecedented demand,” said Robert Budway, president of the Can Manufacturers Institute, the industry’s trade association, back in a July interview with USA Today.

Most aluminum cans are produced in the United States, according to MadeHow.com. The raw materials for the metal are imported from Jamaica and Guinea, but about 25% of the aluminum used in cans comes from recycling. A lot of recycling happens overseas.

To adjust for the increased demand, Ball Corp, the largest can manufacturer in the U.S., plans to open two new plants in 2021. They started the expansion as the popularity of hard seltzers, such as White Claw, grew across the country.

In August, KXAN reported drink companies are focusing on their flagship and high-selling brands amid the can shortage. That shift in strategy means some drinks are difficult to find on store shelves.

Coca-Cola has scaled back production of Caffeine-free Coke, Cherry Coke, Coke Zero and Fresca.

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