Guinness to support on-trade for St Patrick’s ‘Weekend’


Guinness

The countdown to St Patrick’s Day has begun with Guinness set to provide 10,000 bars and pubs nationwide with kits to make it a long weekend of celebration.

The activation kits, worth £30 each, include a back bar flag, several metres of bunting and 15 branded hats to ensure high visibility and engagement from the moment a customer walks in until the point of purchase.

All point-of-sale material will be branded with “St Patrick’s Weekend” to encourage licensees to extend the occasion and to help drive Guinness sales from St Patrick’s Day on Thursday March 17 through to Sunday.

Diageo GB, which distributes the Irish stout, will also provide licensees with a suite of Guinness digital assets that they can use to enhance their social media presence and engage with consumers ahead of the weekend event. Assets will include themed cover photos, suggested Twitter posts and photos.

Bars and pubs that activated POS kits in 2015 saw an uplift of 118 pints of total beer on average, with 72 pints being Guinness Draught. The last two years saw St Patrick’s Day fall on a Monday and Tuesday but Diageo GB believes there is a higher opportunity to increase sales this year as it falls on a Thursday and celebrations are expected to extend into the weekend.

Katerina Podtserkovskaya, head of Guinness activation in the on-trade, said: “Celebratory occasions like St Patrick’s Day are important for the on-trade and Guinness alike. They offer outlets a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on the event and help increase sales and footfall.

“St Patrick’s Day in particular is a natural and unique sales opportunity for the Guinness brand as it links to its Irish heritage and provenance. Last year, Guinness Draught accounted for 61% of incremental total beer uplift, proving that it helps to drive the total category sales.

“When preparing for ‘St Patrick’s Weekend’ licensees should remember that Guinness drinkers are higher spenders in both food and drink. Stout drinkers are also more loyal to the on-trade and visit more often than lager drinkers.”

Ideas from Diageo GB to extend celebrations into the weekend include hiring a local band or DJ, hosting an Irish-style ceilidh, running an Irish-themed quiz, offering Irish-themed cocktails such as a Guinness Black Velvet, and introducing a themed food menu with dishes such as Irish stew and meal deals with a free pint of Guinness.

Saturday March 19 is also the final day of the RBS 6 Nations, with three crucial matches between all of the home nations starting at 2.30pm – another opportunity for Guinness with its long association with rugby.

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