BrewDog takes on Guinness with launch of 'Black Heart' stout

16 February, 2023

BrewDog is mounting a challenge to Guinness with the launch of its own draught stout, Black Heart.

Billed as a “no-nonsense dry Irish-style stout” the 4.1% abv drink launched into the on-trade on 1 February 2023, available exclusively in Tesco and Booker in 440ml cans, as well as a four-pack and 10-pack format in the coming weeks.

Like Guinness, Black Heart cans contain a widget, offering shoppers the “draught experience to enjoy at home, in a convenient packaged format”.

The stout category is currently worth £150m in the off-trade, with Guinness accounting for 93% of sales [Nielsen Scantrack MAT w/e 30 December 2022].

BrewDog said it was “well placed to reinvigorate this category, opening it up to a younger and more premium shopper, driving penetration and additional sales”.

Head of marketing Alex Dullard said:

“We believe drinking beer is about discovery and experimentation, with a mountain of different types and styles available. However, when it comes to stout, there really is only one choice on shelf currently, that delivers a true draught experience.

“As the experts in taste and quality, we have worked with our brewers to develop a classic draught stout, brewed in and for this century, that can be offered to those looking to try something new.

“Consumer testing and insight indicates Black Heart has the potential to drive further growth into the category and deliver profit for our customers, by attracting younger more affluent consumers that have all but given up on the chance of an alternative to the category leader.”

According to Nielsen data, value sales of Guinness declined by 13.4% to £107.4m in the 52 weeks up to 10 September 2022 – but this was a slower rate of decline than the overall category, whose sales were down 16.4%.

Owner Diageo is investing £73m on the construction of a brand hub in London’s Covent Garden, which is set to open this autumn.

It launched a cold brew-flavoured version of Guinness in April 2022 to lure ”coffee lovers” to the brand.

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