“Glass is generally in short supply”

There are around 25 glashutten locations in germany. They produce glass containers with a total weight of around four million tons per year. Three companies in particular are active in franconia and have their plants mainly in the district of kronach: heinz-glas, gerresheimer and wiegand-glas. While heinz and gerresheimer primarily serve the cosmetics industry, the wiegand company in steinbach am wald focuses on the beverage market.

"Glass is generally scarce", nikolaus wiegand, managing partner of the company with a total of 1950 employees at four locations, confirms the current situation with wine bottles. This could become even more difficult next week, as a worn-out glass furnace is being replaced in steinbach am wald. It takes two months before the new, coarser furnace is ready for use. The new furnace – one of eleven in the wiegand group – will last another ten years and will run around the clock 365 days a year anyway. "That’s why our offer can’t just be raised quickly", reports wiegand.

35 to 40 percent of wiegand’s production is wine bottles, and the company is even the market leader for bocksbeutel, with a share of more than 50 percent. The range of products includes all common and also individual reusable and disposable glass packaging. But also PET bottles for more than 20 years.

Demand is very high at the moment, so prices are also going up. Wiegand cites the "super wine harvest throughout europe in 2018" as the reason for the decision and the trend toward individual glass bottles with brand logos among mineral springs. "I heard that even coca-cola wants to go back to the liter glass bottle. This is already a statement for the industry", says wiegand. In the past, customers were used to calling by 1 p.M. And having everything delivered the next day. Now they had to plan earlier.

Wine in good hands in the tank

Wine and glass bottle – a perfect combination. "Glass is an ideal keeper for the wine", says expert ernst buscher of the german wine institute. But what happens when the wine can’t be bottled because of a bottleneck?? No problem, says buscher. The wine is at least as good in the stainless steel tank. No matter what quality level he could store there easily for a year, theoretically even several years. "It’s an economic problem, not a quality problem", buscher explains: "the capital is in the tank and customer demand cannot be met."

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