Supply chain pressures have resulted in the inadequacy of bourbon reserves in New Zealand whilst precipitating a shortfall in craft beer and chicken nugget markets. A nation of heavy drinkers is steadily coming to terms with dwindling stocks of their favourite tipple, including the wildly popular cola and bourbon mixes. The Ready-to-Drink (RTD) beverages are the bread-and-butter of liquor stores across the country, with concerns rising with every passing day.

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The scarcity- acutely felt by suppliers and consumers alike- was confirmed by Brendon Lawry, chief executive of Liquorland NZ, a chain of liquor stores in the country:

“been experiencing shortages of bourbon for production of RTDs for the last four to six months…We are hopeful that it is a short-term issue,” quotes the Guardian.

The shortages partly arise from shipping delays but also due to a shift in consumer preference towards spirits and supply chain bottlenecks in Kentucky and Tennessee, two regions responsible for supplying the world with bourbon.

Dr Bill Wang, Auckland University of Technology’s resident supply chain management specialist, singles out Covid 19 as the cause of parched throats worldwide. While businesses are shifting to local producers, it does not remedy the supply shocks sustained by single-origin products such as bourbon.

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But it’s not just alcohol supplies that are on the downside; chicken nuggets and craft beer are in short supply in New Zealand, too. With producers struggling to secure cheap carbon dioxide supplies- an essential ingredient in numerous fizzy drinks and food items- after the island nation’s largest Carbon Dioxide manufacturer announced that it would go into maintenance till August. Whilst industrial-scale breweries have their own mechanisms of trapping CO2- produced during fermentation- smaller breweries will be hit hardest by the downfall, as per Dylan Firth, executive director of Brewers Association of New Zealand:

“This is more of an issue for the smaller guys who don’t have a [CO2] capture process. Because CO2 is produced in the fermentation process, some larger breweries will have the ability to capture that,” he said to the Guardian.

But while the bourbon is at bay, Kiwis might as well embrace the stiffer stuff if staying sober is not an option.