A Diageo Reminder: ‘Guinness Is Good For You’ Beyond St. Patrick’s Day Too

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Guinness is Good For You sign

An estimated 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide this St. Patrick’s Day, more than four times as much as on an average day, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In the US, where Irish beer brands (led by Guinness) represent $28 million in retail sales in March, the St. Patrick’s Day one-day haul typically is more than double any other month’s tally and accounts for 16 percent of annual US sales.

But Guinness knows there’s more than one way to go green, especially on (and beyond) St. Patrick’s Day. [more]

And the kind of green that Guinness needs more of represents sales. At a time when craft beer sales are soaring in the US, one of the biggest challenges—even for an iconic beer like Guinness—is that even those fans tend to forget about it once the festivities around St. Patrick’s Day fade.

As WSJ notes, Guinness struggles to maintain anything like that kind of interest during the rest of the year. And of even more concern, its long-term sales trendline in the United States has been down, with volume declining six percent in 2013, according to Euromonitor.

So the brand is trying to stretch itself beyond St. Patrick’s Day, including signing a five-year renewal of its sponorship of the US summer Guinness International Champions Cup soccer tour.

It’s also expanding beyond its staple Guinness Draught, recently launching Blonde, an American lager.

Guinness executives are looking to ride the coattails of craft beer and, with Guinness Blonde, to provide a spring and summer option for Americans.

It’s promoting corporate citizenship, with its foundation supporting the work of actor Denis Leary’s foundation to help firefighters.

And it’s proud to be an “eco-friendly” beer and is considered a global environmental leader among brewers, which no doubt pleases corporate owner Diageo. 

That’s why it has signed a Brewery Climate Declaration along with, mostly, much smaller brewers as a pledge to maintain green policies, operations and marketing.

Its flagship brewery in Dublin was the first large-scale brewery in the world to attain LEED-platinum certification, and now composts, recycles or uses for fuel more than 99 percent of solid waste produced.

It’s also maintaining its brand experience, with the art of how to properly pour Guinness ale — slowly, in increments, to produce a thick, smooth head of foam — still at the heart of the brand, even as it promotes its newer and lighter products.

But there’s no getting around Guinness’s dependence on March 17th, as it will be reminded (yet again) this week. 

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