Beer Background

Not So Old Speckled Hen

Added: Saturday, March 1st 2008

Greene King is reaching out to a new generation of ale drinkers with a special promotion for Old Speckled Hen aimed at younger, style-conscious consumers. The Suffolk brewer's multi-million pound advertisement campaign is masterminded by top London agency Fallon, which created the car-shaped Skoda cake and Cadbury's drumming monkey.

Sales of the premium ale have already seen an increase of 10% in pubs and bars in the past year. It enjoys particular success in London, where sales grew by a fifth in the past 12 months. The beer is now available in more than 3,1000 additional pubs over the past two years.

The packaged version of the beer is not being ignored. Off-trade sales for premium ale are rising by 4%, while lager has declined by 1%. Sales of the packaged version of Old Speckled Hen have risen by 8% in the off trade.

Greene King's marketing director Fiona Hope said the promotion for the beer is perfectly timed, given the nation's new thirst for premium ale. "We are seeing increases in premium real ale sales in pubs and supermarkets," she says. "Consumers are more discerning than ever before and are valuing quality, taste and a freshness that real ale delivers.

"But the quality of the product is only half the story if we are to broaden its appeal to a younger market. Old Speckled Hen has never been conventional when it comes to communicating with its drinkers and the new campaign takes that a stage further with a very contemporary twist."

The brewery is targeting "not so traditional drinkers" with the "not so traditional English ale". The ad campaign will run in broadsheet supplements, men's style magazines and posters at 250 key London Underground stations during March.

"The time is right to shout about Old Speckled Hen," Fiona Hope adds. "We want more people to reappraise premium ale - in pubs, bars and at home."

Old Speckled Hen is exported to more than 40 countries and is enjoying particular success in the United States, where it is much in evidence in New York style outlets. Sales are also booming in Scandinavia.