The World Cup only comes around every four years so retailers should take advantage of the opportunity to score extra sales this summer

As the country’s national sport, there is rarely a time when someone, somewhere isn’t watching, playing or talking about football. And the love for the beautiful game reaches a crescendo every four years when World Cup fever strikes.

With the biggest sporting event in the football calendar kicking off in less than a month, retailers don’t have long to get their stores match fit.

Billy Khinda, owner of Today’s Extra in Northampton, is going from past experience and will be making sure snacks and ready meals play upfront in his World Cup mix.

“Shoppers like to have something to munch on while they’re watching the game,” he says. “Salted crisps and snacks complement beer and even wine so they remain an important part of our World Cup fixture.

“I would say snacks and beer are our must-stock products – when people want to stay in for the evening and watch the football they don’t want to spend ages in the kitchen.”

Debbie King, director of commercial sales and marketing at Cofresh, believes retailers can capitalise on the opportunities in the snacking category.

She explains: “Stocking a comprehensive range of products enables operators to maximise snack sales to high frequency, spontaneous or last-minute shoppers, while ‘premiumising’ the offering will also drive sales and help you stand out from the competition.”

Debbie says the demand for free-from and healthier snacks is growing and this will still be the case during the World Cup.

“The shift towards healthier and ‘free from’ eating has led to an explosion in popularity over recent years,” she say. “Health trends continue to drive the category and retailers who offer healthier alternatives to traditional snacks should be able to maximise sales significantly during special events like the World Cup.”

Billy will be making sure shoppers know when the big matches will be playing and what’s on offer in his store through social media posts. “The World Cup is something people can get behind so we want to remind people about the games. It’s up to us to let people know about our offers to go with the matches.”

Like Billy, Conrad Davies, owner of four Spar stores in Wales, uses social media to keep customers updated about in-store promotions as well as all the fixtures.

“We use Facebook to tell customers about the big games,” he says, “and then promote the offers that we have in-store.

“Big multipacks of crisps and popcorn tend to be really popular and it’s so easy to post about those types of products online.”

Conrad believes retailers that post regularly about the World Cup can bring in more footfall from football fans and even encourage those who aren’t into the event to spend more on snacks.

Matt Collins, sales director for convenience, wholesale, discounters & foodservice at KP Snacks, agrees that promoting snacks alongside a big sporting event can be great for sales.

“As the warmer months approach, consumers will be spending more time socialising, choosing to stay in together and entertaining in their own outdoor spaces. With the addition of the World Cup this summer, there is huge opportunity to capitalise on the increase in sharing and snacking occasions,” he says.

Kellogg’s is hoping to score through a new multi-million pound television campaign for Pringles, featuring the tagline ‘Pop, Play, Eat’.

The campaign, beginning on May 21, is being supported by a social media campaign across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Kate Stokes, assistant activation brand manager for Pringles, says: “Pringles are also running a new on-pack promotion, where shoppers can buy three cans and get a Pringles football goal.

“The ‘Pringoooals’ themed pop-up goal, perfect for a five-a-side kick-about during the World Cup, can be redeemed by entering the code found on the bottom of three different Pringles cans.”

For Mike Baker, brand director for Budgens, the World Cup is all about alcohol and pizza. He adds: “Booker is running a Wine Festival in the run up to the tournament, which gives retailers great brands and varieties and encourages customers to buy unique and niche products.

“The World Cup is only a few weeks away and offers retailers up to six weeks of sales opportunity, depending on how well England do!”

World flavours for the World Cup

Dr. Oetker UK has expanded its Chicago Town Takeaway Pizza range with a Sticky Sweet Cola BBQ variant.

Available for a limited time only, the latest addition to the Chicago Town Takeaway range is available in a large format and features a tomato sauce-stuffed crust.

Paula Wyatt, head of marketing for Pizza at Dr. Oetker UK, says: “Extended exposure to world flavours is resulting in a demand for more experimental flavour combinations. This consumer demand has ultimately led to Chicago Town’s The Takeaway limited-edition Sticky Sweet Cola BBQ.”

Topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheese, the new variant also contains smoky ham, red onion and mushrooms, all melted into a cola sauce.

The new Sticky Sweet Cola BBQ pizza is available to retailers nationwide and has an rrp of £4.49.


Conrad is all set up for a rush on pizza. His Spar Market store in Y Maes, Pwllheli, features its own kitchen area so customers can buy freshly-prepared pizzas to take away or eat at home.

“We make pizzas all year round but we are going to make it a point of interest for customers during the World Cup,” he asserts.

“It’s all about linking the promotions to the games and reminding customers about the tournament right across the store.”

Holly Franklin, client development manager for HIM, believes making the most of in-store events, such as the World Cup, relies on retailers getting their displays and messaging just right. “In terms of World Cup displays, you have to think outside the box perhaps appealing to those that don’t like football as well as those who are watching the games,” she says.

Conrad says a big football match often brings different people together. That’s why this year he wants his World Cup displays to appeal to his regular customers as well as pull in those passing through and he plans to do this by creating some in-store theatre.

“There is always something you can do in-store to create a bit of excitement and theatre,” he says. “We usually go big on stacks of beer and pizza deals because that’s something most customers enjoy.

“Even though Wales aren’t in it this year, the event does get a big following. Like with any sporting event or football match, it’s a good excuse to have a night in front of the telly.”

Mos Patel, owner of Family Shopper, Ashton-Under-Lyne, is making use of flags and banners, left over from previous in-store events, to decorate his store in red and white England colours.

“We’ve already ordered the balloons for the event,” he says. “We’re probably going to do a few in-store raffles as well, to drive people in to the store.

“We’re also working with Booker to increase the number of promotions in the store from 25 to about 50. We don’t just want to remind customers about the World Cup, we want to get them to spend with us rather than doing a big shop in the supermarkets.”

Nisa and Costcutter launch football-inspired campaigns

Nisa and Costcutter are supporting retailers with campaigns to make the most of the sales opportunity presented by the World Cup.

Nisa’s ‘Summer of Football’ campaign is running from now until July 15, giving retailers access to themed POS, gondola-end kits and a wide range of deals to tie-in with the key trading period.

The campaign is being supported by social media activity as well as a dedicated ‘Summer of Football’ microsite. The site will give consumers access to an interactive game which gives shoppers a chance to win one of 31 ‘big match bundles’, with one winner selected each match day.

Philippe Rondepierre, head of marketing at Nisa, says: “Arranging a big night in with family or friends to watch televised sporting events such as the World Cup is becoming increasingly popular, which creates a significant opportunity for retailers to provide inspiration for evening treats and offer everything their customers need for an enjoyable evening.”

Costcutter’s marketing campaign, ‘Bringing Summer Home’, will be available from May 31 to September 12, with World Cup specific activity running until July 11.

Costcutter is helping retailers to create theatre and drive footfall in their stores with its new ‘Golden Balls’ competition.

The competition will see gold footballs go on tour across the country for a six-week period, to coincide with the World Cup.

Shoppers will be encouraged to find and take a selfie next to the golden footballs and upload the image to one of Costcutter’s social media channels. They will then be entered into a £10,000 prize draw.

Smaller prizes will be available to shoppers who spot silver footballs on in-store shelf-talkers.

The ‘Bringing Summer Home’ campaign will also give retailers access to a range of POS material. The aim is to encourage retailers to set aside dedicated areas of the store to group together key products for the World Cup occasion.



While beer and football are the usual team mates, Billy believes World Cup customers tend to go for cheaper drinks during the mid-week matches, rather than trading up to more premium lines.

“There are quite a few mid-week matches during the World Cup,” he says, “so people don’t want to get too drunk because they have work in the morning.

“That’s why the cheaper and lower strength lines such as Carlsberg, Carling and Fosters tend to sell the best,” he says.

Jonathan Dennys, customer marketing and insights controller for Jägermeister UK, believes unconventional alcohol products also appeal to World Cup shoppers.

He says: “Jägermeister is encouraging retailers to look beyond the traditional categories of beer and cider and consider spirits brands to help drive incremental sales. Spirits are typically enjoyed during celebrations and group drinking settings.

“To celebrate the 2018 summer of sport, Jägermeister UK will be supporting off-trade accounts with six limited edition bottles, each emblazoned with a flag from famous footballing nations.”

The range comprises England, France, Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Spain.

Conrad is looking to stock larger pack sizes in his World Cup beer fixture. “For the first time, we’ve been able to get 18- and 20-packs from Blakemore,” he says. “They are available in both cans and bottles and on brands like Budweiser and Fosters.

“Although larger packs means lower margins, they are good for cash profit which is also very important.”

Conrad is planning to display large packs of beer at the front of his stores, in order to grab the attention of passing shoppers and create a focal point for his World Cup promotions.

He adds: “Our main focus is on alcoholic drinks but the larger packs of soft drinks also feature prominently in our displays. The World Cup is like another Big Night In occasion so obviously both categories are key.”

Billy agrees. The popularity of Coca-Cola and Pepsi in his store increases every time there is a World Cup match thanks to their popular promotions.

He says: “The six-packs of Coke and Pepsi are very popular. They usually have some kind of promotion running to tie in with the World Cup, which helps increase the number of purchases.”

Amy Burgess, trade communications manager at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), agrees that the soft drinks category is as important to the World Cup occasion as beers and ciders, especially when you consider the number of mid-week matches.

“With 21% of adults now choosing not to consume alcohol, it’s clear that soft drinks provide a major opportunity for retailers to increase their sales to those enjoying nights at home,” she says.

“Sharing formats are a frontrunner for these occasions, and with matches scheduled all week, ensuring shelves are stocked up with well-known brands can help maximise sales.”

CCEP has partnered with EA Sports’s FIFA 18 video game for its latest on-pack promotion to coincide with the 2018 World Cup.

The promotion is available from now until June 17 with unique codes printed across the brand’s 330ml cans, 500ml PET bottles and PMP formats of Coca-Cola Classic and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar.

Those who enter the promotion will be given a chance to win a rare player and Coca-Cola jersey for their in-game team.

The promotion will be supported by a £2.5m marketing campaign that includes POS material, digital, social and out-of-home advertising.

Lucozade Sport gets the nation moving with new campaign

Lucozade Sport has unveiled a new ‘Made to Move’ on-pack competition that will drive additional sales for retailers this summer.

Available on all major SKUs, the eye-catching limited-edition packs offer consumers the chance to win 20,000 prizes, from Fitbits to holidays for two.

The on-pack activity will be supported by a £5m campaign to inspire consumers to be more active during the World Cup and other summer events. Fronted by Lucozade Sport brand ambassadors Anthony Joshua and Harry Kane, a combination of TV, digital and social media activity will be supported by bespoke POS developed to maximise the sales opportunity of the special packs.

Lucy Grogut, Lucozade Sport brand director at Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS), says: “With the biggest event in the football calendar just around the corner, our new limited-edition packs will allow retailers to capitalise on the increased interest in sports drinks this summer.

“We’ve got 20,000 prizes up for grabs so we know shoppers are going to be incentivised to pick up even more Lucozade Sport this summer season!”

The ‘Made to Move’ on-pack competition will run until October, with the latest phase of Lucozade Sport’s ATL campaign kicking off on June 4. To enter the promotion, consumers can also use the Lucozade app.



Mos is stocking up on confectionery during the World Cup, in order to keep his younger customers sweet.

“Even though chocolate sales start to slow during the summer, the big sharer bags are still really popular,” he says.

“Kids don’t always want to be sat in front of the telly watching the football so they need something to keep them entertained.”

Lauren George, UK brand and trade PR manager for Mars Wrigley Confectionery, believes confectionery has proven links with the World Cup shopping mission. She says: “As a partner of the England Football Association, and as supporters of the England football team, Mars has football in its DNA and produces the perfect products to stock up on ahead of a big tournament.”

She is encouraging retailers to make use of World Cup pos to raise awareness of the event and generate additional impulse sales.

Andrew Ovens, marketing manager at Big Bear Confectionery, believes confectionery has benefitted from the popularity of on-demand TV and at-home streaming, and as a result football fans are just as likely to reach for a sweet treat while watching the match.

He says: “Consumers are reaching for confectionery at home in front of the TV more and more. In fact versus 2014, Kantar research has shown sharing occasions, with five or more people consuming chocolate, have risen 27% as shoppers continue to cut costs by staying in with friends and family.”


As well as promoting his confectionery range, Mos has introduced a new range of kids toys that he hopes will keep children entertained during the World Cup.

“We’ve got things like water pistols, bats and balls and other games that are perfect for a summer in the garden,” he adds.

“It’s likely that quite a few people will be outdoors having a BBQ during the World Cup so we need to make sure we target that market as well.”

Alpesh Patel, who runs a Londis store in Crouch End, London, has been reminding his shoppers to get into the World Cup spirit with plenty of BBQ stock at the front of his store.

“It’s essential that we have some sort of display,” he says. “In this area in London, people are particularly impromptu with their barbecues so if they see a barbecue in your store then they’ll have one.”


Ovens, of Big Bear Confectionery, believes cross-merchandising is the key for retailers who want to benefit the most during the World Cup.

“Sharing products such as larger bottles of soft drinks and packs of crisps, commonly associated with Big Night In, work well when creating cross-category impulse sales with confectionery.”

Collins points out that c-stores can also pick up merchandising tips from the multiples.

He says: “Independent retailers looking to maximise on the opportunity the summer season presents should take learnings from the grocery channel and consider dual-siting and dedicated displays to make shopping as simple as possible and boost impulse sales.”

Cofresh’s King advises retailers to display sharing bags close to the till point or alongside alcohol and soft drinks fixtures. “Hot, bold and spicy flavours work really well with a beer and the football,” she adds. “Strong flavours complement a wide range of alcoholic and soft drinks and this is something that retailers should highlight.”

Paula Wyatt, head of marketing for Pizza at Dr. Oetker UK, points out that feature products should be kept at eye level to create greater shelf standout.

She adds: “To maximise impulse sales, it is critical that retailers ensure they have great availability and front of store visibility of key impulse categories, like pizza, crisps and snacks, drinks and confectionery.”

Marty Uppal, of Fixby Stores in Huddersfield, believes on-pack promotions with a sporting theme help drive energy and sports drinks sales during the World Cup, so he ensures these are topped up to the brim. He says: “I tend to up my sports drinks stock in the months leading up to a high-profile sporting event in order to take advantage of the sales boost.”

Dean Holborn, owner of Holborn’s Nutfield and Redhill, in Surrey, may have found a way to keep the excitement going.

He’s been thinking outside the box and says Panini’s World Cup trading cards have been particularly popular – so much so he’s considering setting up his own in-store trading sessions to allow customers to trade with other football fans in the area. Back of the net.

The big matches: dates to watch out for

Group stages

Thursday June 14: Russia vs Saudi Arabia, 4pm (Opening game)

Monday June 18: Tunisia vs England, 7pm

Sunday June 24: England vs Panama, 1pm

Thursday June 28: England vs Belgium, 7pm

Last 16

Saturday June 30: 3pm

Saturday June 30: 7pm

Sunday July 1: 3pm

Sunday July 1: 7pm

Monday July 2: 3pm

Monday July 2: 7pm

Tuesday July 3: 3pm

Tuesday July 3: 7pm

Quarter finals

Friday July 6: 3pm

Friday July 6: 7pm

Saturday July 7: 3pm

Saturday July 7: 7pm

Semi finals

Tuesday July 10: 7pm

Wednesday July 11: 7pm

Third-place play-off final

Saturday July 14: 3pm


Sunday July 15: 4pm