Coca-Cola CEO expects to see sporadic product shortages through 2022

James Quincey, CEO of Coca-Cola, speaks during an interview with CNBC on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, December 9, 2019.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

James Quincey, Coca-Cola CEO, said Wednesday that he expects to see intermittent shortages of grocery shelves through 2022.

Like other food and beverage companies, Coca-Cola is dealing with crises in the supply chain and rising commodity costs, which have led to some shortages.

“My analogy would be like an earthquake,” Quincy said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “You get more shock waves coming in, but they tend to be of diminishing magnitude.”

He added that while the shortage may persist over the next year, its importance is likely to decline over time as the situation improves.

Quincy said the company is using its global reach and long-term partnerships to overcome problems within its supply chain. However, not all challenges can be mitigated. Offer a second analogy, comparing supply chain headaches to a Whac-a-Mole game.

“Some problems are persistent and structural, some problems appear for a quarter of a year and disappear again,” he told CNBC’s Sarah Essen.

In a call with analysts, he mentioned issues such as labor shortages, rising gas costs in Europe and a plastics plant in Brazil on fire.

Coca-Cola shares rose 2% in morning trading after the company’s earnings and revenue beat Wall Street estimates and raised its forecast for fiscal 2021.


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