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Diageo dropping the "Guinness" from name of its US beer business

Published:  09 August, 2016

Diageo is changing the name of its beer business in the US from Diageo-Guinness USA to Diageo Beer Co. USA to broaden its appeal.

Diageo is changing the name of its beer business in the US from Diageo-Guinness USA to Diageo Beer Co. USA to show its "commitment to the broad category of premium beer".

Tom Day, president of the newly named Diageo unit, said the name change represents a "mind-shift" in the alcohol giant's beer business, and marks the beginning of a new period of investment in the wider beer category as consumers increasingly experiment with new styles and brands.

Diageo, which is the world's largest spirits maker, plans to ramp up investments in Irish beers Smithwick and Harp, which have struggled in the US, resulting in falling beer sales last year.

"Diageo Beer Co. USA will be a forward-thinking premium beer company, rooted in our brewing heritage and focused on brands, customers and consumers," Day said.

"While Guinness will of course continue to play an essential role in our beer portfolio, the new Diageo Beer Co. USA name will help highlight the contributions and potential of our other great brands like Smirnoff Ice, Smithwick's and Harp."

As part of the renewed focus on its total US beer portfolio, the company announced several collaborations and new products including a new Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer line, a new crafted hard-soda line Quaker City Malting Co, and a limited-release Smithwick's variant.

"American beer drinkers are interested in experimenting with new styles and brands. That's evident with the continued proliferation of craft beers and traditional flavored malt beverages, as well as the rise of hard sodas, spiked seltzers and ciders," Day added.

Diageo is based in London with North American headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut, and includes some of the biggest global brands in its portfolio, including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan's whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.