Sparkling Water Shortage 2022: What's Keeping Seltzer Off the Shelves?

With temperatures reaching dangerously high levels across much of the United States, consumers are reaching for refreshment in the form of ice cold, sparking beverages, but they may instead encounter empty shelves and high prices. For the second year in a row, one of the country’s favorite sparkling water brands, Topo Chico, is experiencing a product shortage and asking for its fans’ patience.

Sparkling Water ShortageWhy is sparkling water in short supply?

Few industries seem to be immune to the supply chain issues plaguing the market. Between inflation, continuing economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Eastern Europe, and weather conditions brought on by climate change, consumer packaged goods are disappearing from shelves and increasing in price, but with a comparatively simple production process, why is sparkling water in short supply?


Sparkling water shortage of 2021 

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen sparkling water in short supply. Just last summer, Topo Chico experienced shortages due to a reported increase in consumer demand and a shortage of materials. 

Shipments of glass bottles, for instance, experienced logistical issues that year, resulting in long queues and costly delays. 


Sparkling water is trending

Soaring demand for sparkling water is a major contributor to shortages. A recent market analysis report by Grand View Research observed that the market share for seltzer beverages that was valued at 5.29 billion in 2016 was appraised at 29.71 billion in 2020. By the year 2028, the value of the sparkling water industry is expected to reach nearly 77 billion dollars.

Why is sparkling water so popular? Health concerns are the most commonly cited reason for the rising popularity of sparkling water. People today are more conscious than ever of their sugar intake and wary of indiscernible ingredients. As a result, they are giving up so-called “bad” habits like junk food and soft drinks. With near-infinite flavor options, sparkling water makes an excellent, sugar-free substitute for soda lovers.


Assortment of empty, unlabeled, green and clear glass bottles in a lineup

Packaging supply

Compounded with record-breaking demand is the lack of materials sparkling water brands rely on. Like 2021, the importation of glass bottles continues to lag. Ports are struggling with backlogs of shipments, and raw materials required to make glass, like silicon, have been in short supply for more than a year


Water sourcing

Likely an even bigger problem for Topo Chico is that their bottling facility is located in Monterrey, Mexico, a  region currently witnessing extreme drought conditions. Capital of the northeastern state of Nuevo Leon, Monterrey’s reservoirs are nearly two-thirds depleted, leaving tens of thousands of homes without water.

Until conditions improve, both Topo Chico and residents of Monterrey will have to devise a more reliable water source. 


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Buffalo Market DSD Shortens Your Supply Chain

When production is low and prices are high, you can’t afford to have empty shelves that could take days for a central distributor to restock. 

Buffalo Market offers Direct to Store Distribution (DSD), meaning we’ll deliver products from the manufacturer’s facility directly to the retailer. This guards against out-of-stocks, saves labor, and ensures customer satisfaction.

If you’d like to learn more about how Buffalo Market DSD can help insulate your business from supply chain issues, reach out to our team today!


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