Will Guinness Red turn around company fortunes?

Important topics of our time : What happened to all of our child benefit data ; will AMD fight back and survive against a triumphant Intel ; and will Guinness turn around massively faltering sales with a lighter, more refreshing brew to take on the American beers and grown up apple juices of this world ?

That’s the question the BBC’s Money Programme will be asking, perhaps somewhat ill-timed for a booze related program, 7pm tonight on BBC 2. Guinness has seen falling sales in the UK of 13 percent, and a massive 30 percent in its heartland, Ireland, since 2001. The company has been facing up to challenges from more “refreshing” drinks, such as Magners on ice and Lagers.

So the company is currently trialling Guinness Red in the UK. It’s brewed in the same way as Guinness Draught, except the barley is more lightly roasted giving the drink a lighter and slightly fruitier taste. This, the company hopes, will put Guinness in the market to compete with the more refreshing drinks taking the market. Certainly there is room for big turnarounds, as cider has proved in the past few years : Adding ice has made rocket apple juice the drink of young folks choice, leading to booming sales that have left the makers stretched to capacity.

Guinness Red Advertisement

Guinness also has a history of introducing new products to take the market – the Guinness Draught most of us drink in Europe and North America was only introduced in 1958 ; while the Extra Stout your granddaddy drank for good health and strong arms is now a staple drink in Africa, Guinness’s largest growth market of recent times.

If you’re as worried about the future of Guinness as our managing editor (yes, he made us write this, stating the tech angle of “F*** off, who doesn’t like a beer with their overclocking ?”), tune in to BBC 2 tonight at 7pm for The Money Programme : Last Orders for Guinness ?

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