Hard seltzers have had their 15 minutes in the spotlight, but it seems like Truly thought those 15 minutes were going to last a lot longer. After increasing production on its hard seltzers, Truly, a Boston Beer Company brand, has chosen to destroy millions of cases of its product, reports Food and Wine.
“We were very aggressive about adding capacity, adding inventory, buying raw materials, like cans and flavors, and, frankly, we overbought… And when the growth stopped, we had more of all those things than we were going to be able to use, because there is a shelf life,” said Jim Koch, chairman of Boston Beer Company. Honestly, I had no idea seltzers even had a shelf life. If it’s unopened, why couldn’t it just age like a fine wine? Might need to check on some items in my fridge after this.
The seltzer game has exploded so much in recent years that if I were on a game show and the question was to name as many hard seltzer brands as I could in under 20 seconds, I wouldn’t even have to stop and think about it. White Claw, Truly, Topo Chico, Bud Light, Corona, and many many more. I could win that jackpot. So, the problem here isn’t necessarily that seltzers are no longer popular; it could just be that the big boom is over and they’ve simply joined the pack of regularly consumed alcoholic beverages up at the top of the food chain.
In an interview with CNBC, Koch said the brand wouldn’t even consider selling the excess cans at a discount because the company would prefer not to put out a product that could potentially go stale and give customers a bad experience. If you can’t sell the product and you discount it, why not donate it? Anyone want some free, possibly stale seltzers? Just kidding.
Rapid growth may be waning, but overall, hard seltzers are here to stay. Too bad millions of cases had to perish for this brand to get its projections right.