Initial insights into off-trade spending point to more consumers watching the men’s World Cup at home with a beer.

NielsenIQ off-trade data, seen by Drinks Retailing, suggests that beer volume sales doubled in the two weeks leading up to the start of the World Cup, compared to year-to-date growth. Beer volume sales lifted 8.4% in the two weeks to November 19 and just over 4% in the year to November 5, versus the same 2019 pre-pandemic periods.

“Early data shows that football fans are watching football in home, with beer volume sales up 8.4%, compared to the year-to-date growth in the preceding weeks of only 4.2%, versus 2019 pre-Covid levels,” said NielsenIQ senior client insight partner Rob Hallworth. “How long this growth continues will depend on how long the Home Nations remain in the tournament, but we can expect growth to continue at least for the first two weeks of the tournament.”

Pre-World Cup volume sales saw beer almost return to parity with 2021, the data showed. 2022 year-to-date sales were -14.4% down on 2021, but only -0.7% down in the two weeks to November 19.

Looking back to 2018’s World Cup in Russia, which took place during the summer, and sales volumes in the two weeks prior to kick-off almost tripled compared to the year-to-date figures, versus 2017 – up 8.9% compared to 3.1%.

The timings of the matches are also important, said Hallworth. England will play Wales today at 7pm.