BrewDog Black Heart Hero_Pour_Through_Glass HR V3

Black Heart first rolled into Tesco in February last year

Less than a year after launch, sales of BrewDog’s Black Heart in supermarkets have reached nearly 10% of that of Guinness Draught, according to new Circana data.

In the 26 weeks ended 24 December 2023, BrewDog Black Heart amassed sales of £4.2m in the UK mults, according to Circana. This was the equivalent to 9.6% of sales of Guinness Draught over the same period.

When all off-trade sales, including those in c-stores and forecourt traders, were accounted for, Black Heart sales were 7.6% of Guinness Draught over the period, however.

Guinness Draught is the bestselling sub-brand of Guinness, and racked up sales of £43.3m in supermarkets in the 26 weeks to 24 December 2023 [Circana].

Black Heart was the only non-Guinness product in the top five stout rankings. Other Guinness lines with larger sales than Black Heart in the period included Guinness Draught 0.0% and Guinness Original.

BrewDog, which launched Black Heart in February 2023 as a direct challenger to Guinness, said the data “proved customers are ready to try something new”.

“We’ve always disrupted the status quo and focused on developing fresh new ideas to shake up a staid category,” said BrewDog head of grocery Jon Campbell. “Black Heart has proved customers are ready to try something new and we’re continuing to challenge Guinness’ iron grip on the stout market, which has remained unchallenged for centuries.”

BrewDog also pointed to data from Tesco’s Media & Insight Platform, which showed Black Heart was attracting a younger consumer to the stout category.

Some 28% of Black Heart shoppers were pre-family households (single and co-habiting) compared with a 20% stout category average, the data showed.

This, Campbell said, was evidence of how the NPD had helped open up the stout category.

“Choice and competition are always better,” he said. “It’s certainly not so black and white any more.”

BrewDog is not the only brand to have launched a nitro stout in grocery in recent times.

Conor McGregor’s Forged Irish Stout rolled into Asda stores in August 2023, while Camden Town Brewery launched a canned version of its draught stout in Sainsbury’s in November.

Neither of these products made the top 10 stouts in the Circana data, however.