For stout, read Guinness, which shares 81 per cent of the market between its Draught and Original versions, both of which had tough years. Draught nearly held steady with 0.4 per cent growth, although it dropped from ninth to 12th place in the top 50, while Original lost 5 per cent of its value.
But marketing manager Paul Cornell is very positive about Guinness and says recent short-term sales figures, based on information from Nielsen and EPOS reports, show the brand has turned around - especially during the Rugby World Cup.
He believes the brand is driven by advertising and hopes its new toppling dominos ad - launched last week - will boost sales in a way the brand's last new outing, the hands advertisement, did not. Online competitions, in-store sampling activity and new POS materials are backing up the campaign.
"Once we get a display behind Guinness we get fantastic uplifts. Our challenge is to be able to get the right level of display that we deserve," Cornell said.
InBev UK's Murphy's, which has 13 per cent of the off-trade stout market, saw sales slide 1 per cent.
Top three brands
1 Guinness Draught
2 Guinness Original
Off-trade market value
Week ending Oct 6 2007:
Week ending Oct 7 2006: