Lager and cider sales skyrocket as football fans toast Euro 2016

17 June, 2016

Lager sales soared in the week leading up Euro 2016 as fans prepared to gather at home to watch Wayne Rooney and co attempt to end 50 years of hurt.

While alcohol sales have been banned across France as hooligans battle in the streets, Brits at home have been well-behaved and stocked up on lager, ale and cider to drink at home.

Total lager sales for the week ending June 11 were up 25.5% on the weekly average over the previous eight weeks, according to research firm IRI.

That added £10.4 million to retailers’ coffers, bringing total lager sales for the week up to £51.2 million.

Cider also benefited as sales rose £4.3 million to £16.9 million, according to IRI, which equates to a 33.9% hike in sales.

The ale category grew 8.9% to £13.3 million in the week ending June 11, a rise of £1.1 million.

Wine was hit by the surge in demand for beer and cider, however, as sales fell 2.7% to £95.7 million.

IRI’s director of strategic insight for retail, Martin Wood, said: “Sporting events give retailers a critical opportunity to boost sales, particularly when England are playing. In the 2014 FIFA World Cup for example we saw sales of beer, wine and spirits peak while England was still in the game. This trailed off once they were out of the tournament.  Assuming England continue to play well after today’s win against Wales, we expect to see even bigger increases in beer, lager and cider sales as the game progresses, leading to a bumper few weeks of sales for retailers.”

He added: “Cider manufacturers may not have added as much in sales revenue but they grew their sales more than any other alcohol product. This is likely to be the result of a period of marketing campaigns around new product launches from manufacturers such as Kopparberg and other traditional and world ciders. Both retailers and manufacturers should be taking advantage of key football games in this tournament, planning promotions that leverage the party spirit around the British teams.”

Analyst Tim Wilson, who runs the Wilson Drinks Report, said that retailers and publicans will benefit to the tune of £200 million if England follow up their famous victory over Wales by putting a strong run together and reaching the final.

He said: “On paper, England are the more likely British team to make it to the final. The magic combination for drinks retailers in both the off trade and on trade channels are big football tournaments in Europe, extended England participation and predictable sunny weather, like we saw in UEFA Euro 1996.”

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