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Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I has forecasted a bumper summer season for beer sales with sporting occasions providing a major uplift across the category.

This summer season will see an array of major sporting events taking place including the UEFA European Championship™, T20 Cricket World Cup, and The Championships tennis tournament at Wimbledon, and the Olympics.

In light of the packed sporting calendar, the beer brand, part of AB InBev, emphasised the importance for retailers to meet consumers needs to ensure maximum sales during the period and capitalise on the hectic schedule.

“With a packed summer of sports on the horizon, the buzz is building, fuelled by hopes of warmer weather and England’s recent successes. With the Euros as the main event, Budweiser, the proud sponsor of the official England Men’s Football team, we’re eager to collaborate closely with our valued customers to make this tournament a winning experience for everyone,” said Sven van der Knaap head of commercial strategy for off-trade at AB InBev.

Budweiser has shared its top tips to drive sales:

Tap into excitement

Football and beer go together. Euro 2020 witnessed an 18.2% surge in beer category sales (excluding Covid uplift), drawing in an additional 1.4m shoppers, according to Kantar. At home remains the biggest occasion for viewers watching sports, with 70% of consumers intending to enjoy football tournaments with family and friends from the comfort of their homes, Bulbshare has revealed. There is also a clear correlation between the longer the England team remains in a football tournament and beer sales, and with the England team doing better than ever, there’s huge expectation around their performance this summer.   

Brand affiliation to sports and tournaments plays a role in shopper’s buying habits. As the official sponsor of the England Men’s Football Team, the Budweiser Family achieved 7.7% penetration during the Euros 2020 – the highest of any beer brand, according to Kantar, making it a “must-stock” this summer.

Football tournaments also bring an influx of new buyers into the beer category – these shoppers tend to opt for familiar brands, so stocking sponsorship brands beers is the gateway for retailers to increase sales.

Maximising shelf space

World Beer continues to grow in popularity, seeing growth of 7.6ppt since 2019, Nielsen data has found. This makes ”Corona a popular choice”, with a further increase in consumer interest due to Corona Cero’s sponsorship of the Olympics.

Additionally, in recent years, there has been a significant surge in the popularity of low-and-no alcohol options, and this will continue for sports fans. The category is now worth £172m across the Off-Trade, as consumers are increasingly seeking ways to moderate their drinking habits. By offering a diverse range of alcohol-free options, retailers not only cater to their existing customer base but also attract new consumers to the category.

The Cambridge Group found that match days witness a surge in consumers looking to stock up on chilled beers on the way to social gatherings. Therefore, maintaining a well-stocked fridge of beer selections is vital.

Build on BBQs and mealtime occasions

Beer has long played a key role in the BBQ occasion, last year Nielsen discovered the total value of beer during the summer months (May to September 2023) was £673m in the Off-Trade. BBQ season will remain big in 2024, which will be coupled with watching sporting events with friends and family.

Budweiser explained that retailers should also maximise the opportunity to boost sales through food and beer pairings. With 63% of at-home beer consumption taking place with food, compared to just 58% for total alcohol, there is a chance to capitalise on this.

Burgers are consumed during almost 20% of summer outdoor occasions, and are “best enjoyed alongside an ice-cold beer, such as Budweiser”.