Guinness rolls out mid-strength

Diageo Ireland plans a gradual roll-out for it’s 2.8 per cent ABV Mid-Strength Guinness variety which is to be “rolled out in partnership with the right customers which will nurture rate of sale and strengthen the category,” according to Guinness Brand Manager Claire Cadogan.

The national roll-out plan for Mid-Strength to pubs and bars nationwide follows an extensive trial period with further roll-out and investment planned for early this year.

“In effect we want to scale up brand support and communications behind Mid-Strength and so envisage a suite of marketing supports rolled out to market over next number of months,” she told Drinks Industry Ireland, “for example,  leveraging our relationship marketing programme to consumers when rolled out to their local pubs, advertising behind Mid-Strength on radio, press, outdoor and continuing with in-pub visibility and promotions.”

Diageo is in the process of working up a strong Through The Line campaign with consumers, driving awareness of Mid and the occasions it’s fit for etc. “It’s important that cuonsumers via their bar staff have it explained to them what Mid-Strength is,” she added, “Ultimately the consumer will then embrace it and take from there”.

The product is already in over 600 pubs nationwide following initial pub trials in Limerick and suburban areas of Dublin in 2006/2007 and further successful trials in golf, GAA and other sporting club bars over the last 12 months. Guinness intends continuing its investment and hopes to make Mid-Strength available in at least 1,000 pub outlets, particularly in suburban and rural pubs, by the end of the Summer.

The product is being promoted with in-pub POS, sampling and PR at the moment with further marketing investment and – for the first time – an ATL campaign this year.

The RRP comes in slightly lower than a standard pint of Guinness and while not suggesting any particular price, Claire Cadogan pointed out, “We’ve seen tangible benefits when that lower price is adhered to, leading to a higher rate of sale”.
In the UK customers have been asking Diageo to work with them on a UK launch but in the meantime, Mid-Strength is  to be rolled-out into “select off-trade outlets” there this month.

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