Tariffs levied by the Trump administration, along with a nationwide shortage of truck drivers, could see the cost of soft drinks rise across the USA.
The Coca-Cola Co. has already increased prices of its beverages across North America, in what CEO James Quincey described as a “pretty unusual” move to make midyear. Quincey said that the increased cost of aluminium and steel has resulted in “broad-based inflation”. As a result, shipping companies have struggled to find truck drivers, so are offering higher pay and better bonuses, which drives the cost of shipping up even further. American Trucking Associations has estimated that 900,000 more drivers are needed to meet the demand.
Quincey said that Coke expects its trade customers to pass the increases along to consumers. “The customer conversation is not a comfortable conversation, but they can see what’s happening,” he said on CNBC show Squawk on the Street.
Soft drinks aren’t the only ones affected – the US Brewers Association said that the steel and aluminium tariffs will cost beer suppliers USD$347 million annually.