Pub sales soar as home nations battle in World Cup

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Power of football: sales at pubs have been boosted as England and Wales play, particularly for beer, cider and spirits (credit: Getty/itsskin)
Power of football: sales at pubs have been boosted as England and Wales play, particularly for beer, cider and spirits (credit: Getty/itsskin)

Related tags Sport Beer Lager Cider Spirits

England and Wales group matches in the World Cup provided pubs with plenty to cheer as sales of beer, cider and spirits soared.

As England progressed to a quarter final fixture with France, where they bowed out 2-1 to the current world champions, and Wales departed after their third and final group game, uplifts were seen across the board in terms of on-trade sales increases versus a regular same day of business, according to analysis by CGA by NielsenIQ.

Notably the third group game that saw England crush Wales 3-0 provided the largest sales boost of all four matchdays that involved at least one of the home nations.

73% rise at pubs showing football

The first group matchday that saw England hammer Iran 6-2 and Wales hold USA to a 1-1 draw on Monday 21 November attracted a 40% increase in value RoS (return on sales) compared to the average Monday – rising to 73% at pubs and bars screening the games. LAD (long alcoholic drinks) sales rocketed 95% in these venues and 66% overall. Total spirits sales rose 50% but wine sales dropped as some food occasions were disrupted.

On to the second group game on Friday 25 November when England disappointed somewhat with a pedestrian 0-0 draw with the USA while and Wales went down late on to a 2-0 loss to Iran, the total uplift in drinks sales was slightly lower at 31%, and 49% in venues screening the games. Disappointing results muted sales after the end of the matches, especially in Wales. LAD category sales were up 39% across all outlets but spirits topped that with 41% growth. The soft drinks, wine and cocktail categories all benefited too.

The big showdown between England and Wales on Tuesday 29 November generated the biggest uplift of four games so far (for England), with RoS rising 43% as consumers changed their usual Tuesday night behaviour. Again, pubs and bars showing the games had a significantly higher increase at 70%. Spirits and LAD sales shot up by 99% and 83% respectively in these venues – and by 71% and 43% across all venues – as England’s fans celebrated a win and progress to the knockout stages.

Modest uplifts in last 16

With only England progressing to the final 16 from the home nations, their 3-0 victory against African hopefuls Senegal on Sunday 4 December generated a relatively modest uplifts of 17% in all venues and 32% in sites screening the match. The LAD and spirits categories (up 26% and 23% in total, and 40% and 39% in sports venues) were neck and neck for growth. There was no such upswing for other categories like soft drinks, wine and cocktails, though sales of all three did rise in pubs and bars showing the football.

CGA by Nielsen IQ client director Paul Bolton said: “The first four games of the World Cup have delivered some very good results for the on-premise.

“All eyes are now on Saturday’s quarter final between England and France, which brings many opportunities for on-premise occasions before, during and after the game. Operators and suppliers will be hoping that England can progress all the way to the final to keep the sales rolling in.”

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