Distilleries that raced to produce hand sanitizer now face unforeseen costs

In March, distilleries raced to produce hand sanitizer as larger personal-care brands like Purell fell out of step with demand. Now, they are faced with unforeseen costs and excess supplies despite the surge in Covid-19 cases, The New York Times reports. Many distilleries, which already had the equipment and materials to make sanitizer, quickly switched gears to make up for what they were losing in liquor sales during the shutdowns. But federal rules required them to add a bittering agent to denature the disinfectant, which compromised their equipment. While producing sanitizer provided some short-term financial relief, many distilleries are now left with gallons of sitting product, which has dropped in price from $50 at the start of the pandemic, to $15 now. Those that have returned to producing liquor, continue to see a drop in sales.

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