The Real Reason Truly Is Throwing Away Millions Of Cases Of Its Hard Seltzer

Hard seltzer came on the scene, well, hard. The crushable cans that are low in sugar and alcohol-by-volume (ABV) tapped right into the healthy-eating trend, and hard seltzer cans could be found everywhere from poolside to tailgates. While it looked like the seltzer would keep the market buzzing for a while, a global pandemic shifted American palates a bit and hard seltzer went a bit flat.  

That shift has burned Truly's parent company, Boston Beer Company, which found itself queuing up hard seltzers — and raw materials for flavor development and product packaging — for an oversaturated market (via CNBC). Now, the company needs to do something about it. Unfortunately, that something is actually throwing away lots of Truly cans, according to Boston Beer Chairman Jim Koch. And by lots, we actually mean millions of cases that haven't hit the market yet.

But, isn't there another way? Why do all those innocent cans get hurt in the process? 

Why are the Truly cases getting destroyed?

Chairman Jim Koch cites going stale as the reason that Boston Beer Company has decided to let millions of Truly cans fall to the wayside. But when asked if a marketing plan to spur sales or a discount could be used to increase consumer interest, Koch told CNBC that using those tactics isn't the company's usual go-to. Keeping the brand elevated, he noted, is more important than getting rid of the product quickly. 

"You know, that's just not what we do at Boston Beer Co.," Koch said to CNBC. "Our mission is to sell high-quality products and to build high-quality brands. So rather than take a chance of it getting out in the market and going stale and consumers having a bad experience, we decided to make the hard decision and eat a lot of product, just to make sure consumers didn't get stale product and have a bad Truly."

But the good news for the rest of us? Koch still believes in hard seltzer. And, in fact, the segment will shift again, predicts Koch. He suspected that Truly and White Claw will continue to dominate, while other smaller brands that tried to penetrate the market will end up just like his cans of Truly — crushed (via Food & Wine).