Rugby fever boosts beer sales

18 October, 2007

The success of the England rugby squad in this year’s World Cup has boosted drinks sales, according to UK supermarkets.

Like-for-like beer sales at Tesco increased by 30 per cent on Oct 12, the day of the England/France semi-final, while Champagne has enjoyed a 16 per cent lift over the past week. Asda saw beer sales rise by 100 per cent ahead of the France match, with Champagne sales up 57 per cent.

Waitrose said that year-on-year sales last week were up significantly. Standard lager sales increased by 14 per cent and speciality lager multipacks were 18 per cent up. Premium bottled ale multipack sales rose by 61 per cent, bottled cider 37 per cent, canned cider 44 per cent and sparkling wine 19 per cent.

The major multiples are expecting beer and Champagne sales to rocket this weekend as England takes on South Africa in the final.

Sainsbury’s expects to sell 12.5 million units of lager, ale and cider in the run-up to the final. Beer sales during the week are likely to be up 70 per cent compared to last year, according to the supermarket, which is running a half-price Kronenbourg offer for the match (£7.49 for 20 30cl bottles). Sainsbury’s grocery trading director Amanda Heffer said: “Entertaining friends at home has been a popular choice for customers during the rugby world cup and we are expecting bumper sales as friends get together to cheer on Jonny and the boys.” Sales of sparkling wine and Champagne would “go through the roof”, Sainsbury’s predicted.

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