Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Small market for big beer

Published:Sunday | October 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The introduction of the one-litre bottles of Guinness and Red Stripe beer brands has had little traction on the local market, according to sellers of the products.

But Red Stripe Jamaica, when asked about the performance of the giant bottles, insists that "consumers love it" without backup figures on sales or sales targets.

The giant beer, which holds four servings, was launched in April to tap into the party crowd or friends socialising over a drink, but consumers seem to be sticking to the traditional-size products.

"I don't use it at all. Nobody ever asks for it at any of my parties, so we don't use it," said the promoter of Magnum Container Satdazs, Ian Myles.

Promoter of Mello Vibes and Yesterdays, Gyete Ghartey, doesn't see the product catching on, either.

"I would consider it if I see a demand but I don't forecast a demand and, so far, no patrons have asked us about it," he said.

RARELY SEEN

While he reckoned the larger bottles would be good for friends enjoying a sporting event, the promoter said he hadn't personally noticed the product "in anybody's hands".

Still, some beer drinkers say the product is seen at barbecues and intimate parties. Several persons polled said they liked the Red Stripe big bottle, because of the novelty of its size.

Those are the very persons that Red Stripe Jamaica indicated it wanted to tap.

"We recognised that increasingly there was a need from the market for a beer that everyone could share. Jamaicans like to share and to capitalise on that culture, Red Stripe decided to provide an option in this space," said head of corporate relations, Dianne Ashton-Smith.

In the absence of a demand for the product from its clientele, Sampars Cash & Carry does not stock the item, said sales supervisor Marjorie Dixon.

DEMAND LOW

"We sell the regular 284ml bottle," said Dixon, as for the one-litre beer: "We don't have the demand for it; nobody really asks for it, so we don't carry it," Dixon said.

Progressive Grocers store manager Clifford Powell said the regular-size beers outperform the big bottles.

He says the Liguanea store, on average, sells two bottles of one-litre Red Stripe and one large Guinness on a daily basis.

A one-litre Guinness retails for about $434 and the Red Stripe for $322. It costs roughly $125 for the regular-size Red Stripe and about $160 for the Guinness.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com