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Heineken discontinues Island’s Edge stout in Ireland

Heineken has axed its Island’s Edge stout in Ireland after its marketing campaign failed to attract drinkers.

Image @islandsedgestout via Instagram

Heineken’s Irish subsidiary launched Island’s Edge stout two years ago in an attempt to cut into a market where Guinness has long held the number one spot.

However, Heineken has ceased selling the beer after there was rumoured to be little demand for the product.

Speaking to the drinks business, a spokesperson for Heineken spoke up about the brand being axed and explained: “We have made a decision to no longer supply Island’s Edge to pubs and product availability to retailers will transition out over the coming months. We have learned a great deal from the Island’s Edge experience and we will continue to look at innovation as a way to respond to emerging trends in the market.”

The spokesperson told db: “Heineken Ireland is always focused on consumer and customer choice. We will continue to innovate, progress and grow our portfolio across larger, stout and cider combining our unique mix of heritage, craft and new products.”

Heineken Ireland launched Island’s Edge in mid-2021 with a target of capturing 10% of the stout market, which has long been dominated by Diageo’s Guinness.

The brewer declined to put a figure on its Island’s Edge marketing budget at the time of the launch, but had hinted in local reports via The Irish Times that it would be “in line” with the sums invested in the more successful 2015 launch of Orchard Thieves cider, which it invested €20 million.

Island’s Edge was aimed at 18-35 year-olds who did not traditionally drink stout and had been developed using tea and basil extract introduced to the brewing process to reduce the bitter aftertaste often associated with stout.

The drink was soft-launched in 300 venues in Dublin in July 2021, before being rolled out to the off trade supported by a high profile multimedia marketing campaign that kicked in September 2021.

The initial launch campaign used the promotional slogan: “Unexpectedly refreshing,” but a subsequent campaign introduced another catchline: “It’s better, not bitter”.

More recently, drinks industry figures reported that most pubs in the Republic of Ireland had simply stopped ordering Island’s Edge from Heineken Ireland as there was “little or no demand” for it.

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