Scientists help put fizz back into the soft drink sector facing CO2 shortage

A Yorkshire-based manufacturing business that specialises in keeping carbonated drinks fizzier for longer is coming to the aid of soft drinks brands and manufacturers caught short by supply chain issues leading to a CO2 shortage.

It is also warning that the recent deal struck with a US company by the Government to restart UK production after it closed two UK sites because of gas price rises will not be enough to keep CO2 supply and production at normal levels, leading to further frustration and production issues for manufacturers.

Experts at global business CO2 Sustain in Leeds have reportedly been inundated with requests for help as many soft drink manufacturers have only a few days of CO2 supply left in reserve. Most CO2 suppliers are currently not scheduling beyond 24 hours in advance, resulting in no visibility as to UK stock levels and no certainty around deliveries.

Dwindling CO2 supplies have prompted fears of a soft drinks shortage and concerns in other areas, piling additional pressure on the food and agriculture sectors.

CO2 Sustain, maker of patented carbonation aid, CO2 Sustain, has tripled production in the past 12 months with demand showing no signs of abating as soft drinks manufacturers fail to get hold of CO2 supplies after depleting their reserve stocks. For many manufacturers, the shortage means production of certain products have already ceased.

Throughout the Covid pandemic, CO2 Sustain supported many customers to achieve additional operational savings at a crucial time, which proved critical to business continuity and even survival.

Designed for carbonated beverages including fizzy soft drinks, mixers and cider, adding the solution-based CO2 Sustain to the beverage offers manufacturers and brands the ability to retain and extend carbonation, giving longer lasting fizzy drinks.

From its manufacturing base in Leeds, CO2 Sustain’s team of technical innovations chemists pioneered the preservative-free, carbonation aid to increase the carbon dioxide content and extend the carbonation shelf life of soft drinks, using an exclusive formulation.

Jack Proctor, sales and commercial director at CO2 Sustain, said: “Drinks manufacturers are facing a huge challenge as stocks of the carbon dioxide they use to fizz up their drinks run dangerously low. This couldn’t have come at a worse time particularly for the beleaguered hospitality sector which has only just started to get back on its feet following the devastating effects of the past 18 months. If the CO2 shortage results in consumers being unable to get hold of carbonated drinks this could spell further disaster for the hospitality trade at a key time. Our product has been formulated to make sure drinks don’t lose their fizz and stay fizzy for longer, meaning less carbon dioxide is actually required in the first place and less is also wasted.”

The availability of CO2 Sustain represents good news for the carbonated drinks market as it has been specifically developed to allow drinks manufacturers and brands to maximise carbon dioxide retention and enhance consumers’ overall product experience.

Proctor added: “Even without an industry shortage, traditionally a lot of carbon dioxide is wasted during the manufacturing process. By the time a drink reaches a consumer it has lost up to 40% of its fizz. We can help drastically reduce this wastage and preserve valuable carbon dioxide stocks. Even more carbon dioxide is lost when the bottle is opened resulting in the drink going flat very quickly. Our product slows this process down making sure drinks not only taste better but also stay fizzy for much longer.”

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