2 Stars and a Scorching Sun Boosts Consumption in France

2 Stars and a Scorching Sun Boosts Consumption in France

With hot weather and France being Football World Champions,
the balance sheet is very positive for grocery products: + 2.1% in value vs. last year and +1.5% vs Euro 2016.

The day of FIFA World Cup final is the best Sunday of the year for grocery retail – daily sales analysis highlights sales records for beer and potato chips.

During the five weeks of the competition, French retailers (hypermarkets, supermarkets, drives, convenience and discounters) generated €211 million more1 in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) than during the same period in 2017 (ia +2.1% increase).

Beers alone have seen their sales increasing by 59 million euros.

During these five weeks, we find among the most dynamic categories, sweet confectionery (+24%), frozen pies (mainly pizzas, +16%), beers (+14%), potato chips (+11%) , aperitive snacks (+8%), champagne (+8%).

Comparatively to the five weeks of Euro 2016, the report is also positive: sales of FMCG were 1.5% higher during the 2018 World Cup.

2 more degrees worth more than two goals from Mbappé

After the 2010 World Cup, Nielsen stated that three degrees more were better than three goals from the French team… at least for FMCG sales. Indeed, despite the elimination of the French team in the groups stage, the beautiful summer weather had entailed a strong growth of grocery sales.

The adage remains true: the weather impact on FMCG is greater than the results of the French team. But in 2018 good weather and les Bleus’ success were combined… which led to a great time for grocery sales.

June 2018 was the fifth hottest June since 1900 (according to Météo-France), with 2 degrees above normal. And July should follow the same trend. This very favorable weather, combined with game scheduled during the day, or even early evening, largely favored consumption.

With 42% of French people interested in football, the FIFA World Cup is certainly a favorable field, which benefits to sponsor brands. 26% of French people2 interested in the French football team even say they tend to favor the products of a sponsor rather than those of a competitor.

Record-high performances on match days

Daily data provides a very accurate analysis, for example on two weather-sensitive and football-sensitive categories such as potato chips and beers, which have benefited from this very favorable situation.

In the last 18 months, 6 of the 10 best days3 for beer sales took place during the World Cup! The finding is even more striking the days when France played.

Saturday June 30, the 8th finals France-Argentina takes place at 2PM. French stores sell record quantities, in terms of potato chips (3.3 million euros) and beers (22.5 million euros). Since the beginning of 2017, it is the Saturday n ° 1 – and even the day n ° 1 (all days combined) for these categories of products!

Tuesday, July 10, France meets Belgium at 8PM (semi-final). This is the only match of les Bleus broadcast in prime time. For the occasion, consumers are going more than usual in stores : again, the 10th of July becomes Tuesday No. 1 since the beginning of 2017 for both beers and potato chips !

July 15th. France wins the FIFA World Cup and this is Sunday n°1 for FMCG in 2018

The Sunday’s final (France-Croatia was held at 5PM on July 15th), records are also beaten and this day becomes the Sunday No. 1 for 18 months for chips and beers. It is even the Sunday No. 1 in terms of value sales for the whole scope of FMCG in 2018! With 111 million euros turnover realized on that day, FMCG sales were 21% higher than the average of the previous 4 Sundays. Throughout the year 2017, only December Sundays did better.

On July 15th, convenience stores also fully played their last minute mission: beers, chips and soft drinks represented a quarter of FMCG sales! (24% exactly, whereas for an ordinary Sunday these three categories represent 15% of FMCG sales in the convenience channel).

Ditto for champagne sales, which exceeded expectations. Either by anticipation before the game – or bought after the win, champagne sales were 2.5 times greater than during a classic Sunday, with 1.3 million euros sold during that single day!

Toward an historical and specific consumption in 2022

What can be anticipated for the next edition of the World Cup? Emmanuel Fournet, Analytic Leader at Nielsen, makes predictions: The winning combination “No. 1 sport + hot weather” will not, by definition, be reproduced: the host country, Qatar, having announced that the World Cup 2022 will be held in November and December. Nevertheless, we know how much the spirit of Christmas federates the French and dope their purchases… Provided “les Bleus”  confirm again their potential, the combination of World Cup euphoria + Christmas times + winter products could generate historical sales! What if the French celebrate a 3rd star in December 2022 with champagne… around a typical winter raclette meal with friends.”

  1. Nielsen ScanTrack – Hypermarkets, Supermarkets, Drive, SMPL (Supermarkets Mostly Private Label or Discounters) and Convenience.
  2. Nielsen Sports & Entertainment, Sponsorlink June 2018
  3. Nielsen ScanTrack – daily data, Hypermarkets, Supermarkets, Drive and Convenience.