Guinness brews up strong brand performance with alcohol-free beer

Stephan ShakespeareCEO and Co-Founder
October 29, 2020, 9:41 AM UTC

Global drinks company Diageo recently announced an alcohol-free version of Guinness in Britain and Ireland, with a global rollout set for 2021. “Guinness 0.0” will initially go on sale in supermarkets and off-licences, with pubs and restaurants to follow later in the year.

Data from YouGov Plan & Track indicates that the move, in conjunction with the brand’s regular sponsorship of the Six Nations Championship, may have had a positive effect across several key metrics. Value for money scores – which measure whether a consumer thinks a brand represents good or poor value for money – almost doubled, rising from 6.8 to 12.8 (22/10 - 26/10), while Reputation scores (which measure whether a consumer would be proud to work for a brand or not) rose from 28.7 to a peak of 34.7 (22/10 – 25/10).

Ad awareness scores, which asks consumers if they’ve seen an advertisement for a brand in the past two weeks, also increased from 8.0 to a peak of 15.7 (22/10 – 25/10), which likely has more to do with the Guinness Six Nations Championship than the alcohol-free stout.

There is evidence to suggest that the COVID-19 lockdown may have affected national drinking habits. While a YouGov poll from March revealed that 13% of Brits had increased their alcohol intake, by June this had increased to 22%. The proportion who were drinking less remained relatively static (18% March; 17% June), as did the quarter (25% March; 23% June) who say they “never” drink at all.

Data from Profiles also suggests that 16% of consumers who believe they “drink too much” would consider buying a pint of Guinness. So while the brand’s alcohol-free option may naturally service those who have sworn off stout, Guinness 0.0 could also appeal to drinkers who are looking to cut down on their consumption – and avoid hangovers – for the remainder of the pandemic.

This article previously appeared in City A.M.