Heatwave and England Team Spell Victory for FMCG this World Cup
The pairing of the country’s prolonged hot weather and England’s success at the 2018 World Cup has delivered results worthy of the Golden Boot for retailers and manufacturers.
Shoppers spent £358m more during this year’s tournament than they did in the same period in 2017.
Products for entertaining had a spike during World Cup month, as many Brits chose to take advantage of the warm weather and host match-viewing parties with their friends and families. Matches & Lighters saw the greatest percentage growth during this period, with a 39.2% uplift. Beer & Cider (28.8%), Frozen Desserts (25.9%), Insect Control (22.4%) and Soft Drinks (16.8%) also experienced generous growth.
Figure 1 (below) shows a comparison of category sales between this year’s World Cup and the 2014 tournament. An earlier exit from the competition for England and 10 degree cooler temperatures in 2014 sheds light on the stark contrast in sales.
The second week of the tournament this year witnessed the highest uplift in total sales (57%), aligning with the spike in the heatwave. In the final week of the tournament, as it became clear that football wasn’t coming home, growth slowed slightly to a reasonable £84m. Over the course of this year’s entire tournament, the categories of frozen vegetables, frozen fish, biscuits, hot beverages, and laundry saw no significant increase at all, as shoppers tend to abandon their weekly habits and instead choose to overindulge - similar to the pattern that occurs around Christmas.
Looking ahead to the next World Cup in 2022, the recipe for early summer success will be hard to replicate as host nation Qatar has announced the tournament will be played in November and December. Given that Christmas spirit can bring the English together in similar ways, it’s possible that we will be toasting England’s successes through the tournament with mulled cider, hot squash and mince pies. It’s clear from this data that retailers and advertisers alike should bear in mind how England’s performance in flagship tournaments like the World Cup affects consumer mindset and behaviour.