The champion of breakfast beers the world over, Guinness is facing stiff competition from more refreshing lagers targeting the after-work crowd. Sales in in Britain were off 13% in each of the last 2 years, the BBC reports, and in Ireland, where the black stout has been the best-selling beer for decades, sales have dropped 30% since 2001.
The company enjoys strong sales in the US and Nigeria, its first export market. To counter slipping sales, the brewery is launching Guinness Red, a smoother, sweeter stout that “maybe bridges the gap between a stout and an ale,” says an analyst. But he warns that since both markets are declining, something that sits on the fence "is probably unlikely to work."