FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The coronavirus pandemic has caused many items to go missing from store shelves: toilet paper, meat, coins, bicycles and more. This occurred because many products experienced an increase in demand. The latest thing to go missing is canning supplies including lids and jars.

Canning is the act of preserving food. The process involves placing foods in jars and heating them to a temperature that destroys the organism that causes food to spoil. During the heating process air is driven out of the jar, and as it cools a vacuum seal is formed. Canned food can last years if there is a proper seal.

Due to quarantine, many people were and still are stuck at home for long periods of time. Americans staying home took up hobbies like home renovations, baking and gardening. This included learning how to preserve their harvest which has led to the storage of canning supplies nationwide.

WANE 15 went out to several local stores around Fort Wayne to research. We found that nearly half of the stores were out of all canning supplies while other stores were only out of lids.

Some stores are limiting the number of items customers can buy online while others have no limit, however, shipping dates vary. One store was unable to ship canning supplies until mid-November.

While there is no timeline for when canning supplies will be back on store shelves, companies like Ball are working overtime to get products to consumers.

Consumers staying home over the last few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in shifts in demand for food storage containers like Ball® branded glass jars and lids. During the pandemic, many consumers discovered canning for the first time, and we are thrilled they are turning to Ball for fresh preserving.

As more consumers prepare their meals at home, Ball and the entire canning industry have experienced an unprecedented demand. The demand has resulted in supply constraints, extended lead times, and recently limited product availability at stores and online.

We’re grateful for our consumers’ enthusiasm for Ball and appreciate their patience as we work rapidly to solve for the supply constraints. Ball has increased glass production, found additional lid manufacturers and expanded our pack out locations to replenish stock as quickly as possible.

Spokesperson for Ball®

This isn’t the first time there has been a national shortage of canning supplies.

In 1975 a shortage of raw material caused a great reduction in production. Lid manufacturers were even asked to testify before Congress about the reason for the nationwide shortage. The shortage came to an end the following year.

With the 2020 harvest season wrapping up, companies anticipate and hope the shortage will be resolved by next year if not sooner.