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Diageo Plans New Product Blitz Under Rebranded Beer Unit

August 5, 2016

Diageo-Guinness USA has been renamed Diageo Beer Company USA, and the rebranded unit is set to unleash a wave of innovation activity. Tom Day, president of Diageo’s beer unit, said that while Guinness will “continue to play an essential role” in the portfolio, the rebrand will highlight the contributions and potential of other labels like Smirnoff Ice, Smithwick’s and Harp.

In line with those ambitions, Diageo Beer Co. is readying the launch of several new products, including a Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer line, and a partnership with Steve Grasse—creator of the Hendrick’s and Sailor Jerry brands among others—on a hard soda range called Quaker City Malting Co. Irish beer label Smithwick’s, meanwhile, will be extended with a new variant in collaboration with New York sports radio personalities Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton.

Those initiatives follow innovation efforts on Guinness and Smirnoff Ice earlier this year. The Guinness brand—whose Stout is the eighth-ranked imported beer in the U.S., up 3.5% to 14 million (2.25-gallon) cases last year, according to Impact Databank—rolled out a Dublin Porter and West Indies Porter in January, while Smirnoff Ice introduced a non-carbonated, coconut water-infused Electric Flavors series in April. —Daniel Marsteller

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