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Stag beer launched with ‘extreme stamina’

Published:Wednesday | June 17, 2015 | 6:00 AMNeville Graham

J. Wray & Nephew Limited is putting $10 million behind an introductory campaign for Stag beer and has collared dancehall front-man and summer-time dance king ‘Ding Dong’ Kemar Ottey for the promotions.

Still Wray and Nephew will not say what share of the market it is going after with Carib Brewery’s Trinidad-made beer, which it will distribute in Jamaica.

Jamaica’s brewing giant Red Stripe has been preening its feathers of late. The cash register has been pinging out the numbers with 15 per cent year on year growth in domestic sales in 2014. That outstripped the 11 per cent growth for 2013.

Wray and Nephew in a previous life as part of the Lascelles deMercado group had tip-toed out of the beer market in 2010. Now as part of Gruppo Campari and with the favourable winds pushing beer sales, the spirits company is back on board.

Director of Marketing at Wray and Nephew, Gary Dixon, said the company looked long and hard at the options as they searched for a beer to add to its sales portfolio. The search settled on a lager beer with a reputation that packs a punch in  the Eastern Caribbean, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and across to Guyana and Suriname. Dixon feels that same presence can be transported to Jamaica.

“This is the brand that, if you look at market share in the bigger Eastern Caribbean countries, is doing very well. We realised that there is a clear opportunity based on market potential. We also looked at things like taste, profile and image when we tested in Jamaica and we found that this is a brand they could connect with,” he said in an interview at the official launch of Stag beer on Monday.

As to what share of the five million cases of beer swigged by Jamaicans that Wray & Nephew is thirsty for, Dixon was not forthcoming.
“We know that these are questions that are going to be asked but our main focus is not necessarily market share; it is rounding out our portfolio,” he said.

“There are sales numbers that we want to hit … but I would say that it is definitely not a market share game.”

The $10 million going into the launch is to be over the next three months.

As to the target demographic, Stag is focusing on ‘maleness with extreme stamina, tenacity and greatness’.

Launch night  for Stag beer was a testosterone-laced mix of male swag complemented by form-fitting romper clad hostesses. There was a muted construction site theme with a generous dose of male bravado, and guys were invited to show off in bench press and push-ups contests. The roll-out was came complete with a Stag partymobile.

The suggested bar price for Stag is $200 which is about $50 more than  the price of Red Stripe or Dragon but still about the same or $50 less than the price of Guinness and Heineken.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com