Yo Breo as Guinness does a Michael Jackson


Requesting a pint of white from the barman doesn't have the same resonance, but that's the colour of the latest offering from Guinness. Yesterday it introduced Breo White Beer, its newest product and a world first. Guinness hails it as a completely new type of beer with an old Celtic name that will be marketed to appeal to young drinkers. Of course, it hopes it will be agreeable to older imbibers as well.

Breo (pronounced bro) has a distinctive cloudy appearance, a white fluffy head and "a natural citrus beer taste." The result of a unique brewing process and the combination of natural ingredients, "it is a refreshing beer with a white gold colour, offering something satisfying and really different to the consumer".

While the taste and appearance of this new beer was clearly important to Guinness, it almost appears to pale in comparison to image and marketing. Critical to the success of new product development, according to Mr Tony Brophy, head of new product development, is understanding consumer trends.

He spoke of the trend "towards individual choice"; a questioning consumer attitude; "value for time"; and people taking more responsibility for personal decision-making. Consumers were more tuned-in, more demanding and had more leisure. "If that leisure time is squandered, consumers will not thank us for that," Mr Brophy said at the launch.

Breo is a Celtic word meaning glow. "After some consultation with Bord na Gaeilge and a number of fluent Irish speakers, Breo was chosen as the name for this new beer as it reflects the original attributes, colour and look of the product."

Research into Breo began 18 months ago. The company plans to spend £5 million on the brand and marketing activities. It will be initially introduced in 20 Dublin pubs beginning in May.