UK: Budweiser Brewing Group expects summer sport to boost beer sales
The return of the summer of sport will drive sales of 413 million pints of beer in the UK Off Trade this June, according to predictions from Budweiser Brewing Group, a subsidiary of AB InBev, KamCity reported on May 4.
Consumption of beer rockets during TV sports compared to the average at-home occasion, with the 2018 World Cup driving a 31 million pint increase in sales of beer. This year, the summers packed calendar of sporting events, including the Euros and Wimbledon Championships, is expected to present an unprecedented opportunity for the Off Trade to drive sales in the category.
Budweiser is forecasting that sales of beer in the summer months will grow around 20% compared to the last year of regular trading in 2019, equivalent to an additional 88 million pints sold.
Neil Baker, Head of Category Management at Budweiser Brewing Group, said: Beer and sport go hand in hand for many consumers and for retailers, sporting occasions have always driven mammoth sales within the beer category. This year is set to be bigger than ever for stores, as Brits gather to celebrate the return of long-awaited sporting events at home.
With just over a month until the Euros begin, stores need to start stocking up now to make the most of this unprecedented consumer demand.
The brewer has offered five tips to help retailers drive sales this summer:
Stock up early and maintain momentum
Retailers not only need to stock up early, but also ensure they can maintain momentum. Theres a clear correlation between the longer the England team remains in a football tournament and beer sales, for example. Given the England mens football team is among the favourites to win the Euros this summer, a win for England is a win for retailers, so store-owners must prepare to meet this demand.
Stores also need to cater for the full range of different shopping missions throughout the tournaments. Match days see a rise in consumers looking to stock-up on chilled beers as part of beer run missions on the way to social gatherings so a well-stocked beer fridge is vital.
Give sponsorship brands prominent space on shelf
Stocking sponsorship brands will be key to winning in the beer category this summer. 68% of England fans think retailers should stock official sponsorship brands and 55% would choose a specific beer if they knew it was an official sponsor. Sporting occasions also entice new shoppers into the beer category with these consumers opting for known brands over competitors.
As the official beer of the England Mens football team, the brand is rolling out limited-edition sponsorship packaging for Budweiser, Bud Light and Budweiser Zero that aims to help retailers entice sports fans, whilst providing a range of options to cater to varying consumer preferences.
Boost basket spend with food and drink pairings
Suggesting food and drink pairings will drive spend and ease the shopper journey, helping sports fans prepare for their viewing occasion. The combination of food and beer has been gaining momentum over the last year, with three out of five beers consumed with food. The food and drink pairing sector represents a huge category growth opportunity for stores, estimated to be worth around £300m last summer.
During the 2018 World Cup, the last major football tournament, burgers were the most popular food. Offering meal deals in store, such as beer and BBQ bundles on matchdays or in-store promotions, is one easy way stores can encourage consumer cross-spend.
Engage with shoppers in store
With 20% of beer shoppers making an impulse purchase decision once in-store, engaging shoppers through merchandising at different touchpoints throughout the store is key to capturing their spend. Budweiser will be running a suite of limited-edition packaging, gifts with purchase and giveaways throughout the summer, making it easy for retailers and their customers to get into the spirit of the competition.
Beer drinkers are also more likely to purchase beer from secondary locations in store that the average beer, wine or spirit shopper. This presents an incremental opportunity for retailers to use feature space to drive category availability, top of mind awareness and penetration this summer.
Its not just about football
Its not just football that returns to screens this summer. There are a number of big sporting events that are coming back, including the Wimbledon Championships which will engage an even wider audience of consumers.
Stella Artois will be bringing back its limited-edition Wimbledon packaging this summer. This packaging will prominently feature Wimbledons livery and help mobilise a premium line of sale for retailers. Stores can boost spend by adding Stella Artois to a themed display, alongside other Wimbledon staples such as strawberries and cream, and picnic foods.
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