Just when you thought that the seasonal occasions were all accounted for this year, along comes another one. And according to manufacturers, this one could be among the biggest across all categories, not just beer. Acting MBL managing director Ross Halliday reckons there's a danger that some retailers will fall into the 'booze trap'. He explains: "Clearly, alcohol is important, particularly beer, but there's more to this event - things like take-home soft drinks, adult snacks and even ready meals will be popular. People will be so busy trying to get home for the game that they won't want to cook, so they'll pop in to a c-store to get a ready meal."
Hancocks purchasing director Richard Brittle agrees: "This European-based World Cup is going to put huge numbers of people in front of TVs for many hours, so the potential for confectionery consumption, as well as soft drinks and snacks, is tremendous and we are encouraging all of our customers to be proactive so they benefit from this event."
Hancocks is carrying loads of World Cup lines, many of which are not available in the supermarkets. Products have rrps ranging from 49p to £2.99. "We think once you get over the £2.99 price the impulse sector struggles," says Brittle. Products include Football Lucky Bags which retail at £1.49 and 3D Mallow Player Pops, rrp 49p. Brittle points out that generic football novelties, such as the company's new pick and mix range of coloured football shirts and shorts, will also be of interest and will not be time-sensitive for retailers.
Generic football items will also be appropriate for Father's Day, which falls right in the middle of the tournament - on June 18 - giving an extra incentive for customers to buy football-related items. With this in mind the company is stocking an unofficial football mug filled with chocolate footballs, with a retail price of £2.99.
Another product that could be popular as a Father's Day gift comes from Gillette, the 'official men's grooming partner' of the tournament. Its World Cup gift sets include The Locker Room shower pack with Gillette Series cool spray, Mach3 Turbo gel and Gillette Series shower gel at £4.99; and The Locker Room shave and shower pack which contains a Mach3 Turbo razor, Mach3 Turbo gel and Gillette Series gel for £5.99;

For retailers who don't particularly want to stock any World Cup products, there are plenty of promotions going on with existing big name brands. Staying with Gillette, the company is running a promotion to win tickets to the tournament. The 'You and three mates' promotion is featured on M3Power Nitro razors and packs of M3Power blades as well as other Gillette products. It gives consumers the chance to win a ticket for themselves and three friends to the World Cup final.
Meanwhile, Unilever brand Peperami has transformed its 'animal' character into the 'Fanimal' to tie in with the World Cup. TV ads broke a few days ago to publicise an on-pack promotion which will run across 10 million Peperami Sticks and Noodles packs, giving consumers the chance to win their very own talking Fanimal. An additional instant win promotion will run across a further 2.5 million Peperami five-packs and mini-packs. If consumers find a winning red card in their pack, they can claim a prize from a website. Multipacks will also include a 10% discount at Sportsworld plus a free wall chart and stickers.
Even brands that you wouldn't normally associate with football are getting in on the act. Kingsmill, for example, is running an on-pack promotion on its bread rolls whereby consumers can collect tokens to be exchanged for football supporter packs containing face paints, flags, thunder-sticks, banners, whistles, penalty blindfolds and megaphones.
One of the tournament's sponsors, Coca-Cola, will be running a promotion to win tickets to the tournament throughout June. An on-pack promotion invites consumers to send in a photo showing how much they love the World Cup, for a chance to win tickets. The promotion will appear on Coke and Diet Coke 330ml cans and multipacks, 500ml, 2ltr and 1.25ltr bottles. The company is also introducing limited-edition 250ml resealable PET bottles in a football shape, which will be available in singles or multipacks of four with World Cup graphics.
Advertising for Coca-Cola World Cup activity will launch this month with an additional campaign focusing on the on-pack promotion.
Not to be outdone, Coke's arch rival Pepsi is also running a 'What's in your locker?' promotion, driven by Pepsi Max's official sponsorship of the England team. There is also a new ad featuring David Beckham, John Terry and Paul Robinson. At the heart of the promotion is a competition to win an Xbox 360 every 90 minutes. The on-pack promotion is running across
all Pepsi variants, with packs getting a 'football strip' for shelf impact. According to the company, 42% of people are more likely to purchase something featuring the England crest.
Nestlé Rowntree is looking to glories past in its bid to generate World Cup sales and is hoping that its POS featuring the iconic image of Bobby Moore holding the World Cup will help retailers draw in trade. The company is running an on-pack promotion on KitKat, Aero, Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles, Toffee Crisp, Drifter and Yorkie. Consumers have the chance to win one of 66,000 replica 1966 England football shirts. Backing the promotion will be a £5.5m media support campaign including a TV ad featuring KitKat as well as PR activity using players from the 1966 team. Consumers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who may not be so keen to celebrate England's finest footballing hour get the chance to win classic replica shirts from their own teams.
Pringles has created its own dream team for its World Cup promotion. The promotion gives consumers the chance to meet and play football with the dream team, which includes Roberto Carlos, Steven Gerrard and Freddie Ljungberg. For those not lucky enough to win the top prize there is a chance to win TVs, football shirts signed by the dream team players, and other footballing prizes. The promotion features on the top five Pringles 200g SKUs - original, sour cream & onion, salt & vinegar, cheese & onion and BBQ, plus original and sour cream & onion 50g. A £3m marketing campaign will back the promotion including TV advertising airing now.
Of course, having the St George's Cross emblazoned over everything won't necessarily be what retailers in Scotland and Wales will be planning. For these retailers many of the manufacturers have produced campaigns which are focused on the total World Cup rather than just England's chances. MBL's Halliday says: "We're not going heavy with branded pos. We have stores in Wales and Scotland and we have to be careful not to alienate them."
Instead, the group is linking with Coke, one of the tournament's official sponsors, for in-store competitions. However, Halliday says that he thinks the group was guilty of underplaying the tournament's significance in these countries and, after having spoken to retailers there, it has stepped up the focus on the World Cup for Scotland and Wales. "They are as interested in how Brazil and other nations perform as anyone else. And even interested in England in so much as when we'll get knocked out," he says.
Finally, Hancocks' Brittle says that every retailer should do at least some World Cup merchandising: "No matter how small you are, you have to do at least a little theatre inside the shop - even if it's just a flag." He reckons flags will be a major selling point.
Halliday adds: "Convenience stores have got to do something that sets them apart. Get your staff engaged around the World Cup and get them cross-selling. That's what will bring the customers back long after the World Cup is over."

Promo fever

The Masterfoods World Cup 'Believe' campaign has renamed the Mars bar, drinks and ice cream as Believe for the period of the tournament. TalkSport and The Sun partnerships have already begun and outdoor campaigns, direct mail and the Believe Mobile are due to go live next week when the Believe bars will be in store along with point of sale material.

UBUK is running its World Cup promotion across three brands: McCoys, McVitie's Jaffa Cakes and KP Nuts. The 'Are you Wright for it?' offers one of five trips to Germany to meet the ex-footballer and commentator Ian Wright.

Sure for Men has launched a Sure Sport football range featuring St George's Cross packaging and a gift pack with an anti-perspirant aerosol, shower gel and an England flag.

Nobby's has teamed up with Carling for the World Cup to produce its biggest on-pack promotion since the brand's launch. The prize is the use of a pub for a night for the winner and their friends for the 'perfect' football night. The pub will be kitted out with free beer and snacks. Those not lucky enough to win one of the 10 top prizes get the chance to win one million cans of Carling. Nobby's has also launched a new tangy BBQ flavour.

Duracell is running an
on-pack promotion to win one of eight pairs of tickets to the World Cup.

Premier Foods is running a promotion in cash and carries where retailers can win a Sony widescreen TV and receive the Three Lions ringtone for their phones. The company is also running a consumer promotion with a TV and La-Z-Boy chair up for grabs.

Score with these

As the World Cup is being held in Germany, German food trade association CMA is advising UK c-store retailers to try something a little different - a display with a German theme. CMA director Joarchim Oertel suggests having a small themed area in the shop showcasing German beer and snacks such as cold meats, sausages and pretzels. He says the UK is now Germany's fifth largest export market for food and drink worldwide, worth approximately £1.4bn in 2005.

Kinnerton Confectionery is celebrating the beautiful game with two footie-themed chocolate novelties. Milk chocolate lollipops are wrapped in foil England team jerseys which are numbered for people to collect. Also available are milk chocolate footballs with a caramel crunch truffle filling. Both novelties come in outers featuring the St George's flag for shelf standout. Rrp is 59p for the lollies; 36p for the chocolate footballs.

Another company taking inspiration from England's only World Cup win is the Tullibardine Distillery, which is launching a 1966 Vintage World Cup single malt whisky. The company will produce a limited edition of just under 400 bottles to go on sale this month.

Swizzels Matlow is launching three football-related sweets. Special footie Kicker Clicker Pops are available in strawberry, blue raspberry and apple flavours. Rrp is 79p. Footie Champs have been added to the Fun Gum Mini Bag range. Rrp is 10p per bag. Finally, there are Jelly Footie Champs football shapes, which retail at 12p.

Anticipating that the tournament will be popular with collectors of football cards Panini has brought out the Official FIFA World cup 2006 Goaaal! collection of cards. Cards retail at 35p per pack; the binder retails at £2.99.

Haribo has produced a new footie-themed Looney Tunes edition of Pez featuring Bugs Bunny, Taz, Tweety Pie and Daffy Duck. The limited edition is available until the end of june.

While Orb Sport's new flavoured water drink hasn't been specifically designed for the World Cup, the drink's football-themed bottle will give the product an extra shelf standout during the