“We launched Guinness Gold because we’ve seen Premium tip back into growth” – Diageo

Diageo Plc has said it introduced Guinness Gold in the Nigerian premium beer segment because the category was returning to growth.

While commenting on the group’s activities in Africa at the recently concluded Diageo – Capital Markets Day in New York, John O’Keeffe, Diageo’s Africa President, said: “I think our decision to launch Guinness Gold is because, even though Value beer is still growing because of that consumer distress in Nigeria, we’ve actually seen Premium tip back into growth, which is very encouraging for us, because we haven’t seen that in a while in Nigeria”.

“And the fact, you know, that Beer category in Nigeria was in decline up until Christmas time, and now it’s just tipped back into growth,” he said.

Guinness Gold was launched in March 2019 amid fanfare.

O’Keeffe added that the sign was encouraging despite the still difficult macroeconomic environment in Nigeria, consumers are beginning to shake it off. The company felt it was the right time to enter with a brand that is priced with Heineken.

Explaining the divergence in beer pricing across African markets, O’Keeffe said that pricing has been relatively muted, adding that there is a real divergence between oil producing and non-oil producing countries.

“So, I think oil-producing countries, like Nigeria and Ghana, Southern Sudan, I think the consumer’s still quite distressed and, therefore, I think it’s very difficult for pricing to get away.

“I think, in non-oil producing countries, we’re seeing more robust pricing again. So, you know, countries, particularly on the eastern side of Africa where oil is less dependent, I think pricing has been coming through on that,” said Diageo Africa President.

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