Drinks sales up 15% on average during Rugby World Cup

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Important boost: drinks sales up 15% on average across the 2023 Rugby World Cup tournament (Credit: Getty/Thomas Northcut)
Important boost: drinks sales up 15% on average across the 2023 Rugby World Cup tournament (Credit: Getty/Thomas Northcut)

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Pubs and bars scored double-digit growth in drinks sales during the final stages of the Rugby World Cup, data from CGA by NIQ has revealed.

CGA's On Premise Measurement service five of the six knock-out matchdays delivered a boost of 16% or more against the average equivalent day over the rest of 2023.

Across the last six games of the World Cup, growth averaged 15%, following a 16% increase during the group stages of the tournament.

Growth by value peaked at 23% during England’s quarter-final with Fiji on Sunday 15 October, thanks in part to an afternoon kick-off and a second quarter-final afterwards.

Double digit growth 

Pubs and bars screening games also saw double digit growth on England’s two other knock-out matchdays, with the semi-final defeat to South Africa on Saturday 21 October increasing drinks sales ​by 16%, boosted by the Premier League fixtures.

Moreover, the match against Argentina the following Friday (27 October), teamed with the run-up to Halloween, saw an 18% uplift in average drinks sales by value across managed venues.
However, the tournament’s impacts were not limited to England’s game days, according to the figures, with a 16% upswing on Saturday 14 October, when Wales played Argentina and Ireland took on New Zealand in the quarter-finals.

In addition, the World Cup Final involving New Zealand and South Africa on Saturday 28 October boosted trade by 18%—though this was also fuelled by football, boxing and Halloween occasions.

The only single-digit growth day was Friday 20 October, when the Argentina v New Zealand semi-final lifted drinks sales by 4%.

Important boost

Category-wise, Long Alcoholic Drinks (LAD) saw the greatest uplift, with sales 26% ahead of the average same days during the knock-out stages.

Stout’s ​association with rugby made it the biggest winner of all, up 38%, while cider ​(up 28%), premium lager (up 19%), lager (up 19%) and keg ale (up 18%) were also successful across the tournament.
CGA by NIQ​ GB drinks client director Paul Bolton said: “These excellent growth figures show how fruitful big sporting occasions can be for pubs and bars.

“While Halloween footfall and other sport helped, it is clear millions of consumers want to enjoy big games in the company of others in pubs and bars.

“Matches were a particularly important boost for beer brands, and the tournament will hopefully prove to be a good springboard into their festive season.​”

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