Celebrating Guinness in Africa this International Stout Day

Today marks International Stout Day, a day when people around the world celebrate their favourite brews. To mark the occasion, we’re sharing a special story about the growth of Guinness in Africa.

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Guinness, with its iconic black liquid, has had a special place in the hearts of African consumers for almost two centuries. The first recorded shipment of Guinness to the African continent arrived in Sierra Leone in 1827. Some 135 years later in 1962 the first Guinness brewery outside of Ireland and the United Kingdom followed, the Guinness Brewery at Ikeja, Nigeria.

Today, Guinness has operations across Sub-Saharan Africa that are home to a number of Africa-first innovations. The original innovation being Guinness Foreign Extra Stout first brewed over two centuries ago to ensure the Guinness liquid survived the long sea journey to foreign shores. Then we have Guinness Smooth (launched last year, now across six African markets), a smooth, distinctive beer with the perfect balance of flavour, the character of Guinness.

The original innovation, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

From July 2020 to June 2021 organic Guinness sales rose 32% across Africa, and this success is not just because of Guinness’s taste and quality commitment, but also the unique place the brand has in African culture.

Guinness has a history of iconic marketing made specifically for Africa, including the now legendary Michael Power campaign which created and featured an all-African action hero and culminated in the creation of an award-winning full length feature film, Critical Assignment.

Building an important association with football over the years, sponsoring broadcast of the English Premier League across Africa, Guinness has continued to be culturally relevant. From football viewing events that attract tens of thousands of fans, to dedicated Guinness Football TV shows broadcast to millions across the continent and partnerships with some of the world’s elite players such as Thierry Henry, Guinness has always made an impact. More recently in Cameroun, Guinness has sponsored the women’s football league, using football as a canvas to instigate societal change – demonstrating the importance of giving women support at home to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams whatever they may be.

Guinness unveils its first new Pan-African campaign in five years - Black Shines Brightest

Most recently, Guinness unveiled its first new Pan-African campaign in five years - Black Shines Brightest. Created for Africa, by the talented Africa Guinness team, for their African markets, the campaign is inspired by the bold and unique black beer of Guinness stout and brings together passionate and creative individuals to celebrate the spirit of Guinness and its home. Launched simultaneously across the continent earlier in the year with a film shot on location in Lagos, the campaign leverages incredible local talent who have helped tell the story of how they shine bright through traditional and digital media. Building on launch this talent has been harnessed to help co-create unique consumer experiences, Brighthouse Bars that showcase the magic that happens when people come together with optimism, creativity and pride.

We are proud that through campaigns like this, the cultural and creative legacy of Guinness in Africa - and the special relationship with consumers across the continent – continues to shine bright.