With the FIFA World Cup about to kick off, there’s no better time for venues and drinks suppliers to optimise the opportunities presented by the biggest event in football’s calendar, says CGA.
In 2022, a third (33%) of consumers are watching sports in the on-trade, with a similar proportion (32%) doing so at least once a week, and one in seven (14%) visiting to watch the major crowd-pulling events. Football is by far the most popular sport, with more than two-thirds (69%) of sports consumers watching it in pubs and bars this year.
CGA’s research in to the 2021 Euros laid bare the gigantic impact of sport in the on-trade, with average daily sales soaring by 64% at venues where the tournament was shown, compared to a 5% drop at venues that didn’t.
Unsurprisingly, beer was the star player, with an estimated 1,340 pints sold across all matchdays, despite the adverse effect on attendance of Covid. Lager makes up much of this success due to its association with football, but world lager’s role in this is expected to continue as it grows prominence versus the traditional standard lager brands.
That doesn’t mean there’s no room for other categories, though, with spirits and cider also taking advantage of the tournament’s ‘halo effect’ during the last FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Looking ahead to the FIFA World Cup 2022, CGA OPUS data revealed that 20% of consumers intend to visit their usual venues specifically to watch the FIFA World Cup, 19% will visit their usual venues and watch the FIFA World Cup if it happens to be on, and 12% will actively seek different venues specifically to watch the FIFA World Cup.
Clawing back deficits
However, the extent of its impact for the on-trade is inseparable from the progress of England and Wales, as by far the biggest uplifts are seen when the home nations remain in the tournament. Drinks offers tying into the excitement generated by the national sides are a opportunity for licensees to drive maximum value from the occasion.
On top of traditional seasonal uplift in visitor numbers, it’s a formidable opportunity for brands to meet their goals and deliver successful end-of-year results, despite what continues to be a challenging time for on-trade sales.
Paul Bolton, client director, GB drinks, at CGA, said: “The FIFA World Cup is a massive opportunity for the on-premise and drinks suppliers to claw back any recent deficits caused by market turbulence, and to finish the year on a high.
“Whilst we are hopeful that it will be a successful tournament on the pitch for England and Wales, it will be interesting to see who the big winners are in the on-premise, due to the overlap with Christmas, so strategy and execution are crucial for venues that are hoping to have the best of both worlds.
“But there’s every reason for optimism, with over-performing brands and venues putting themselves in pole position as first choices during the FIFA World Cup, and also for future sporting events once it’s over.”