Brewers score at World Cup

06 August, 2010

A combination of good summer weather and the World Cup has given a welcome boost to beer and cider sales, despite England’s early exit from the football.

Beer sales in independents and convenience stores in the 12 weeks to July 11 – the date of the World Cup Final – were 23% up on the same three-month period in 2009.

Cider was up 54% in the same 12-week period, according to figures from Kantar Worldpanel, with wine 31% ahead.

The British Beer & Pub Association said take-home beer sales were up 13.7% in the second quarter of 2010, against the corresponding period a year ago.

The BBPA’s moving annual total for the year to June showed a 4.4% increase on 2008/09.

Kantar analayst Fraser McKevitt said: “It’s very difficult to say how much has been down to the football and how much to the great summer weather so far.

“It’s probably a bit of both, but we have done some research with people who were specifically interested in the football and said they were going to watch a lot of games and it seems they were spending slightly more than those who weren’t.

“But it would have been a good period even without the World Cup.”?Asda beer buyer Rob Paton said: “Sales tipped 80% year-on-year growth and there were definite spikes around the England games.”?He added that sales had “dropped off dramatically” after England’s exit.

Shaun Heyes, head of off-trade marketing at Heineken UK, said: “England going out early didn’t help the category but a good summer is worth far more than a football tournament, which is only ever for four or six weeks of the year anyway.”?The good weather may have spared the multiple sector a potentially harmful impact from England’s defeat, with retailers looking to offload excess stock through deep discounts in late summer and early autumn.

“We’ve certainly seen no sign of that type of deal,” said Heyes.

The BBPA’s figures showed total beer sales up 2.9% in the second quarter. Pubs were down 6.3% but up on the first quarter of the year.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “The World Cup has certainly been a benefit to Britain’s beer sector and we can now hope that the market is starting to turn a corner.”

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