The 2018 World Cup kicked off with an emphatic win for the hosts and, although England’s chances of lifting the trophy are the lowest they’ve been for a while, there’s a huge opportunity for retailers to win this summer.

The nation is gripped by football fever, with more than half the population set to tune in, and 86% planning to watch at home. This means it’s crucial retailers are catering for viewers’ needs, tempting them through quality ranges, eye-catching displays and enticing cross-promotions.

Crisps and beer are the top two categories of choice to consume during the football, while pizza will also be popular, with one in three shoppers looking to choose this easy meal solution when rushing back for the 7pm kick-offs. Pairing these with beer or soft drinks in a football-themed meal deal could help drive basket spend.

Four in five viewers will be enjoying the action with friends and family, so sharing pack formats and multi-buy promotions will be important. The warm summer weather that most of the nation is enjoying at the moment could also lead to more barbecue occasions. Offering a good range of fresh meat and barbecue accompaniments will encourage shoppers to up their basket spend.

Price and promotions shouldn’t be the only factor in play and we could see customers trading up, as more affluent shoppers see convenience as most important when choosing which shop to choose for their World Cup trips. One in five ABC1s said that they were planning on buying food or drink at their local c-store for the matches. Retailers therefore need to make sure that they have craft and premium options available.

Aside from the usual food and drink, many c-stores will have taken advantage of the Panini World Cup stickers craze; 20% of 18- to 34-year-olds have either bought stickers for themselves or for someone else. This demographic is the most impulsive in convenience so retailers need to make sure stickers are clearly visible and near the till to encourage unplanned purchases.

Ultimately, the success of England will have 
a huge impact on sales, so let’s hope that Gareth Southgate’s young guns continue to deliver 
the goods.