World Cup UK sales boost fizzles out

11th July, 2014 by Lauren Eads

Total sales of drinks in the UK during the World Cup are expected to top £1bn as it draws to a close this week, but overall the tournament has failed to improve year-on-year sales which dropped by 6.3%.

world cup 1966

Memories of England’s now distant 1966 World Cup victory

The first three weeks of the World Cup saw total sales of alcohol increase by £55 million compared to the same three weeks in 2013.

However as the fourth and final week draws to a close, and the UK’S enthusiasm wanes, sales data released today by the Wilson Drinks Report and IRI found that Champagne and sparkling wines were the only categories to experience year-on-year growth.

For Champagne and sparkling wines value sales were up 8.7%, and unit volumes up by 2.7%.

Sales of cider fared less well with volumes down 11.1% and value sales down 16.2% on 2013, but were still 5.3% up compared to the four weeks prior to the World Cup.

Ale and stout achieved a volume growth of 6.9%, however value sales dropped by 3.4%, while lager sales by value dropped 12.0% and 5.5% by volume.

Overall, total value sales for beer, wines and spirits in week four were down by £14.6 million compared to the same week in 2013, a decline of 6.3% year-on-year.

However total cumulative sales of beer, wines and spirits for the four weeks of the World Cup so far total £903.2 million, a net increase of £40.5 million.

Tim Wilson, Managing Director of WDR, said: “The latest IRI data shows that the World Cup party is over, as the beer, wines and spirits category has been hit by a double whammy. Not only has the World Cup effect dramatically worn off, as watching 11 men in England shirts has become but a distant memory; we are also seeing year-on-year comparisons to the very strong sales in early July 2013, driven by glorious weather.

“Cider in particular tends to be more sensitive to changes in weather patterns, and had a particularly strong week in 2013. Ale and stout managed to achieve decent unit volume growth, but still at the expense of margin.

“However, we are on track to record total alcohol sales well in excess of £1.1 billion for the 5 weeks of the World Cup, and we still expect total sales to be ahead of the same period last year, even though 2013 had the benefit of Murray’s win at Wimbledon.”

Wilson added: “Having been the weakest category so far during the World Cup, the performance of still wine doesn’t look quite so bad, with weekly sales almost unchanged between £74 million and £79 million per week.”

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