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Source: Getty images

With UEFA’s Euros ’24 in Germany followed by the Olympic Games in Paris, we can expect some serious sales uplifts as armchair fans cheer their nations on this summer.

According to NIQ data, the Euros back in 2021 saw an 18% increase in beer sales (by volume) during the tournament. And the fact that this was during Covid increased sales volumes even further.

The data analysts at NIQ say a strong home performance and weather play their part in helping with sales. And with both England and Scotland playing in this year’s Euros, it is likely to be more exciting than ever for fans.

Scotland take on Germany on the opening day – Friday, June 14 at 7pm (BST); with England’s first match on Sunday June 16 at 7pm (BST) – against Serbia. The final will be held in Berlin on Sunday, July 14 at 7pm (BST).

Unfortunately there is little we can do about the home performance or the weather; all forecourt retailers can do is get out the flags and the bunting and ensure they are kept stocked up with beer and snacks.

Peroni tray

Cheers for beers

Sam Leach, category manager at Asahi UK, says he expects this summer to be positive for the beer category with volume growth versus last year, with July likely to show the strongest growth versus 2023.

“The men’s Euros in June and July could see an uplift of 18% if performance from previous tournaments is replicated. This would be a welcome boost for the beer category, which saw a 6% volume decline across 2023,” says Leach.

“Purchasing beer usually happens on the day of the game, or the day before (Kantar Worldpanel Plus Survey) so maintaining availability is crucial to make the most of peaks in purchasing. This pattern of purchasing close to the event also benefits the convenience channel, which sees higher than usual share during tournament months (Kantar, FMCG panel).

“Kick-off times also have a huge bearing on purchasing behaviour before a match. The game times in Germany are likely to be conducive to socialising with England’s group games all taking place at 5pm or 8pm (4pm or 7pm BST). England’s first group game vs Serbia on Sunday June 16 at 8pm (7pm BST) will likely have the biggest following and therefore uplift prior to the game.”

Leach adds that for special occasions such as the Euros, 62% of people are likely, or very likely, to trade-up their beer selection (UK Brew Bods community research). Interestingly, despite the fact that beer has the strongest overall association with football, for the Euros 2021 Nielsen data suggested that wine had the highest share of feature space in stores (47%). “Spirits had 31% and beer followed at 15%. With the expectation that beer will see the strongest year-on-year growth in 2024, there is a large opportunity to optimise feature display for this summer,” explains Leach.

He says premium lager’s share of the beer market is highest in the summer and reached 25.5% in June 2023, compared to the average throughout the year of 22.4% (NIQ data).

“Peroni Nastro Azzurro’s share of the category tends to peak in summer months, with 4.2% value share of beer in June 2023, compared to 3.6% average for 2023. (NIQ).”

Heineken promo

UEFA-themed glassware

Heineken has launched limited-edition sport packaging and glassware across its Heineken Original and 0.0 variants to celebrate the upcoming ‘summer of sport’.

As the official beer sponsor of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) Heineken has launched limited-edition UEFA-themed packaging and glassware available across all Heineken Original packs. The packaging features the trophies of both tournaments. It also marks the first time Heineken has dedicated a bottle design to women’s football, which will appear alongside the men’s UCL bottles in mixed packs, as well as across single 650ml and 330ml bottles. Also available across can formats, the limited-edition packaging features a dual-facing design of both the UCL and UWCL trophies on either side of the can – to help create increased stand-out on shelf from every angle.

Heineken is also the official beer sponsor of the Investec Champions Cup and Formula 1 Qatar Airways British Grand Prix. It has launched limited-edition racing-themed Heineken 0.0 x F1 packs focusing on the brand’s exclusive global partnership with F1.

All the activity is supported by in-store pos material designed to drive consumers to the fixture, with four exclusive glasses for consumers to collect: UCL, UWCL, F1 and Investec Champions Cup.

To get their hands on the limited-edition glassware, consumers must purchase select packs of the limited-edition Heineken range and then select a sports glass of their choice to take home.

With each glass, consumers will also be able to enter the Heineken Champions Sport game. To play, consumers scan the QR code found on the glassware box. This unlocks an AR sports game. Consumers will be challenged to play against the clock and score high in the game to be in with a chance of winning tickets to the finals of each of the sports, alongside Heineken-themed sport merchandise, and £2 cashback on their next Heineken Original or Heineken 0.0 12-pack purchase.

Alexander Wilson, category and commercial director at Heineken UK, says: “We know that sport drives sales in retail as there are more people buying and spending more in the run up and during key moments in the sporting calendar. Heineken is the number one beer brand associated with sport in the UK (Google consumer survey) – so retailers ought to capitalise on the moment and stock this in their fridge in the road to the final!”

Coke summer promo

Coke’s competition time

With Coca-Cola a sponsor of the Euros and a partner to the Olympics, it stands to reason that it has more access than many to tickets to these big sporting events.

In its latest promotion called Endless Summer, it is giving shoppers the chance to win pairs of tickets to the Euros in Germany, the Olympics in Paris as well as tickets to top music festivals across Europe.

Alongside the consumer campaign, independent retail, food-to-go, licensed and wholesale customers are being given the chance to win Euro tickets and spending money via CCEP’s trade website.

The Endless Summer on-pack promotion runs until May 19, with a total of 295 pairs of tickets up for grabs. The campaign is designed to help retailers drive their Coca-Cola Original Taste and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar sales in the run up to summer.

To enter the free prize draw, shoppers have to scan QR codes on promotional packs, which will direct them to the Coke app. Once registered, they can then play an exclusive mini game within the app to earn wristbands, that can be used to enter the prize draws.

Rob Yeomans, vice-president, commercial development at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners GB, says: “We know that football and music are key passion points for consumers in GB, and this summer there’s no shortage of either.

“However, at the same time, we understand that many shoppers continue to be careful with their spending. So, we wanted to give our brand fans the chance to turn their dreams of experiencing live music and sporting celebrations this summer into a reality, alongside helping customers to drive sales in store as well.”

The Hundred

KP and The Hundred

Obviously the Euros and the Olympics aren’t the only sporting events happening this year; there’s Wimbledon and the cricket too.

For the fourth year, KP Snacks is the Official Team Partner of The Hundred cricket tournament. The partnership drives brand awareness for eight popular KP Snacks brands: popchips, Butterkist, Pom-Bear, Tyrrells, KP Nuts, Hula Hoops, McCoy’s and Skips by featuring them on The Hundred team shirts and in promotional content for the tournament.

Matt Collins, trading director at KP Snacks, says: “We’re leveraging our partnership with The Hundred to encourage healthy and balanced lifestyles. Last year, we launched our community cricket pitch initiative, funding 36 permanent pitches across urban areas where The Hundred teams are based to improve access to the sport. We are continuing this programme with another 64 pitches being installed over the next two years in line with our commitment to support consumers and communities, two key pillars of our People & Planet responsible business strategy.”

west malling butchers

Sizzling sales

With or without sport, barbecues have become big business across the UK, and barbecue is a massive occasion for West Malling Butchers at the award-winning Parkfoot Garage in West Malling, Kent. So much so that manager Emma Gluck says barbecue season is busier for them than Christmas.

For the butchers, barbecue season typically starts at the end of April and runs through until mid-September.

“We sell our marinated products all year round but we add to the range for the summer. A popular item last year was the Tomahawk Steak, which is a rib eye on the bone. It is quite sizeable and sold for around £30.”

West Malling is an affluent area so Emma says customers are very selective about what they want meat wise. However, last year they did sell a Barbecue Box for £35 which contained burgers, kebabs, sausages, kebabs and burger buns.

Emma says her customers are more adventurous than ever and are looking for different flavours.

In kebabs, for example, they offer a Black Garlic Fillet Steak variety but this sells for £25.50 a kilo versus £14.99 a kilo for chicken kebabs.

“A single chicken kebab works out at around £3 so we cut the meat smaller for the steak kebab to try and make the single kebabs the same price.”

Although Parkfoot has the butcher’s products out on the shelves, Emma says having the butchery counter is a very important part of their business. “Customers love to chat with the butchers about what they’re buying and get advice,” she says. And it’s all paying off as Emma says their trade is up 30% year-on-year.