Wednesday 28 October 2020 7:01 am

Guinness brews up strong brand performance with alcohol-free beer

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 per cent of Brits had increased their alcohol intake, by June this had increased to 22 per cent. The proportion who were drinking less remained relatively static (18 per cent in March; 17 per cent in June), as did the quarter (25 per cent in March; 23 per cent in June) who say they “never” drink at all.

Data from Profiles also suggests that 16 per cent 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.