FastPour Guinness scrapped
Traditional draw triumphs after extensive testing in UK
May 15, 2003 - Diageo's bid to launch a quick-pouring Guinness has flopped after the latest tests in 30 busy UK outlets proved that drinkers and barstaff prefer the traditional two-part pour. Guinness first began testing more than a year ago.
The FastPour system, which uses ultrasound technology to trigger head creation and cuts average pour time from 120 to 25 seconds, will be pulled.Guinness brand manager Radha Rajamohan said the brewer was surprised at the results of the test, carried out with Guinness Extra Cold in selected pubs in London, Newcastle and Yorkshire. Pre-test research with focus groups and on the Internet was "extremely positive", she said, with younger Guinness drinkers buying into the idea of a quicker pour given the context of a busy bar.
"But those results were not carried through into real life. It turns out that consumers love the two-part pour aspect of a pint of Guinness and they don't mind waiting."
Guinness has long advertised that good things come to people who wait and that a good pour should last 1 minute and 59 seconds.
Bar workers in the test pubs said they missed the theater of the traditional pour. "Skilled barstaff like to know they can handle the two-part pour. It makes them seem more professional," Rajamohan said.
Now Diageo plans to spend £250,000 on its "Born Again Basics" training program to improve the quality of dispense, initially in all the brand's London outlets. The brewer's field staff will be reiterating the two-part pour message in every visit, carrying out on-the-spot training of barstaff and checking the quality of the pint.
"A lot of pubs, especially in London, have a high turnover of staff and it's important that we do this kind of continuous training," said Rajamohan.
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