World Cup boosts sparkling wine sales by 25% in week one

The World Cup’s first week saw off-trade sparkling wine sales up 25%, but beer and cider were the real winners with sales boosted by well over 40% thanks to the football.

Still wine sales fell compared to last year, despite the sunshine, but spirits sales grew almost 10%, up 3.8% in value for the week ending June 14, compared to the same period last year.

That’s according to the Wilson Drinks Report, which is using IRI data to analyse supermarket sales over the World Cup period.

World Cup

World Cup boosts supermarket drinks sales

Source: REX/Wang Lili

Now that England has made an early exit from the football tournament, will sales be negatively impacted?

Tim Wilson, managing director of the Wilson Drinks Report, said: “The latest IRI data shows just how important events like the World Cup are for the flagging beer industry. Against a long term backdrop of volume decline, the grocers report a massive boost in sales for the first week of the World Cup, although volume gains in lager and ale appear to have been achieved at the expense of gross margin.”

Growth came at a time when “all the planets were aligned” Wilson said, when the weather was hot, football “exciting” and England still in the tournament. With the England team’s imminent departure, this will most likely impact on sales for the rest of the tournament.  

Last week Jon Sheppard, senior client manager at Nielsen, told that the increase in sales “does have an effect on volumes post the tournament where sales slump as many households still have fridges with a lot of beer still in them (when England are inevitably knocked out in a very unjust manner). I call this the ‘hangover’ period. In simple terms, the World Cup can be divided into a 12-week period: four weeks pre (anticipation), four weeks during (tournament) and four weeks post (hangover).”

Wilson added: “The World Cup typically has a much less significant impact on still wine. Both volume and value were actually down year on year for the week ending 14 June, as many consumers switched to the beer and cider categories.”

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