World Cup proves damp squib for beer sales15th July, 2014 by Gabriel Savage
Early signs indicate that this year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil created less of a boost for UK beer and cider retailers than the previous tournament in South Africa four years ago.
UK off-trade data released by Nielsen covering a six-week period up to 28 June 2014, which includes the first two weeks of the competition, showed that sales of beer and cider were down by £16 million and 608,000 hectolitres compared to the same period around the 2010 World Cup.
England’s early exit from the tournament is likely to have contributed to this shortfall, with Nielsen pointing to a consistent drop off in beer and cider sales immediately after the nation was knocked out of the last two football World Cups and Euro 2012.
Among the variables that Nielsen analysts suggested may have influenced this sales decline is the later kick off times in the 2014 event’s group stage, sometimes as late as 11pm, which may have proved more beneficial to on-trade outlets.
Despite this fall in off-trade sales, the advertising spend from the beer and cider sector during the first six months of 2014 was calculated by AdDynamix at £51.8m, significantly higher than the £36.1m spend during the same period in 2010 and with a sharp pick up from March onwards.
However, the biggest spender this year, Heineken, did not choose football as the focus for its campaigns and yet its brands such as Foster’s enjoyed a significant uplift of £33.1m compared to the period around the 2010 tournament.
By contrast Molson Coors, Carlsberg and AB Inbev, each of whom ran football-led advertising, all saw value sales slide in relation to four years ago. Nielsen attributed this decline to the same factor as Heineken’s own strong performance, which, it noted, was “mainly due to Foster’s being a key player in most retailers’ mid or big pack deals.”