Guinness gets a boost from the Scots


Cara Sulieman

SCOTLAND is bucking the trend and drinking more of Ireland’s favourite drink, despite plummeting sales.

Guinness reported a sharp decline in sales in both Ireland and the UK earlier this month, with the lowest sales in ten years.

But Scottish pubs aren’t feeling the pinch and say sales of the black stout have never been so good.

And they expect to sell more than ever today as thousands take part in St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Paddy’s day effect

Iain Pert, operations director of Festival Inns who own Biddy Mulligans, a popular Irish pub in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket said that the sales of the brew have gone up in the past year.

He said: “We have seen more people buying Guinness in the last year. And they always go up around this time of year.

“We’re having a busy few days, and with the rugby last Saturday and St Patrick’s Day today we’re expecting sales to rocket.

“One of the factors is the increase in the number of Irish visitors – the Euro is really strong at the moment so they’re coming across to get a better deal.

“I think everybody is worried about the recession but we’re not seeing a lack of customers just yet.”

It comes as the British Pub and Beer Association announce beer sales are down by 8.3 per cent – to a low that hasn’t been seen since the 1940’s.

Drop in sales

A number of factors are being blamed for the slump including the credit crunch and knock-on effect from the smoking ban.

The Irish company announced a decline in sales in Europe, with Ireland being hit the hardest, seeing a 7 per cent drop.

And the UK was no better, with a three per cent decline in sales of the black stuff.

The company is currently celebrating its 250th anniversary by trotting out golden oldies from their famous advertising stable, and it will be hoping for a surge on St Patrick’s Day today.

Not failure

Despite the drop in sales, the brand is still bringing in the same amount of money as they used to due to price increases and ad campaigns.

And Brian Duffy, global brand director for the company insisted the sales were not an indication of failure.

He said: “Because the trend is negative doesn’t mean it is not a place where we want to be successful and where success is important.”