Safeway axes Enigma lager as sales fall

Enigma, the premium canned lager produced by Guinness, is being drop-ped by supermarket chain Safeway.

At the same time, Sainsbury’s is reviewing whether to continue stocking the brand over the summer.

Sainsbury’s says the brand “has not been selling as well as other lagers”, which suggests it will be axed. It is only on sale in half of the chain’s stores.

Safeway confirms that the brand will not appear in its summer range and stocks will not be replenished from next month because of poor sales.

Enigma was launched two years ago with an 8m marketing budget, making it one of the highest spenders on advertising in the lager sector. The ads were created by Publicis.

But the brand is now viewed as an expensive marketing flop, because sales never justified the spend. All advertising for the lager was dropped last year (MW June 14 1996).

Guinness insists that it will not scrap the brand and a spokesman suggests there are plans to rescue it, but refuses to say what they are.

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