NORWALK, Conn., Aug. 5, 2016 (PRNewswire) — Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol, announced Friday that it is changing the name of its U.S. beer business from Diageo-Guinness USA (DGUSA) to Diageo Beer Company USA. Following several months of strategy work to help best position Diageo's U.S. beer business for the future, it was decided that the group's name should convey Diageo's brewing credentials and commitment to the broad category of premium beer.
"Diageo Beer Company USA will be a forward-thinking premium beer company, rooted in our brewing heritage and focused on brands, customers and consumers," said Tom Day, President, Diageo Beer Company USA. "While Guinness will of course continue to play an essential role in our beer portfolio, the new Diageo Beer Company USA name will help highlight the contributions and potential of our other great brands like Smirnoff Ice, Smithwick's and Harp."
For the past few years, the team has focused on investing in Guinness and Smirnoff Ice, the two largest brands that currently make up the majority of the DGUSA business. The Guinness brand was repositioned to be known as a brewer, with a wide offering of beers to suit various tastes and occasions. A heightened emphasis on quality training for bartenders and bar owners has also created greater consistency in how consumers experience Guinness during a night out. The priority for Smirnoff Ice has been to ensure that the brand has the right offerings for today's consumers. New-to-world extensions like Smirnoff Ice Electric Flavors, as well as the Smirnoff Ice Spiked line, along with new seasonal flavors and refreshed packaging are all contributing to Smirnoff Ice's continued success.
"We have confidence in the position of our two largest brands and are excited for what's to come over the next year," continued Day. "This change truly represents a culture and mindset shift for Diageo's U.S. beer business."
Moving forward, Diageo Beer Company USA will be increasing investment in the Smithwick's and Harp brands and also has a deep innovation pipeline for beer and flavored malt beverages. As part of the renewed focus on its total U.S. beer portfolio, the company announced several inspired collaborations and exceptional new products. These include:
- Partnering with renowned drinks architect Steve Grasse to create a planned new-to-world crafted hard soda line called Quaker City Malting Co.
- Launching a new Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer line.
- Planning a collaboration with beloved New York City celebrities Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, hosts of New York's number one rated radio sports show, to create a new, limited release Smithwick's variant, to support a charitable partner.
"More and more, 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," continued Day. "We're confident that those consumers will love the high quality and variety of our new offerings from Smithwick's, Smirnoff Ice and Quaker City Malting Co., and as always, we will be encouraging consumers to enjoy our products responsibly."
More details about each of the new products will be available in the coming months. The name change will take effect within the coming weeks.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan's whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.