Analyst Corner: Causing a Scrum This World Cup

The Rugby World Cup in Japan has been underway for a week, with all nations playing their first game. There is no doubt that retailers across the UK are benefiting from increased footfall and sales of the core ‘sports fan’ categories – beer, crisps and confectionery.

In all seriousness, the tournament goes on for over 6 weeks, with the final being played on the 2nd November 2019. This is a significant period of time that retailers can capitalise on. We recently surveyed 1,000 consumers to find out their plans for the Rugby World Cup and we have identified five stats that highlight the opportunities for grocery retailers.

74% of watchers will be watching at home

Our survey showed that the Rugby World Cup will be watched by 50% of UK shoppers. 74% of these will take in the tournament from the comfort of their own home, 18% from a friend’s home and 18% from a family members home. With only 15% of shoppers saying they will watch alone, retailers have the opportunity to attract party hosts who will be catering for a group of people.

Having lots of choice is of highest importance to shoppers

Having lots of choice is of highest importance to shoppers when purchasing for this occasion. Therefore, having a wide range should be prioritised.  However, there are slight differences in importance's between the different age demographics, meaning that in store campaigns for the occasion should target the demographic coming in.

Premium products are of less importance to younger shoppers who are primarily after cheap prices. The 25-34s and 75 and overs show more interest in healthy options whilst recognised brands are of more importance to the 25-34 cohort.

If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it

If I was being stereotypical, I would say the key ingredients for a ‘sports night in’ are beer, pizza, crisps, chocolate and soft drinks. Now I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but these are still the most popular components and retailers should not forget this. Getting the core components right should be of the highest priority before considering going outside of the box.

In summary, 42% of consumers intend on buying crisps for whilst watching the rugby, 41% beer, 33% pizza, 30% soft drinks, 24% nuts and 23% cider and chocolate.

21% of shoppers will visit their local independent convenience store to gather supplies

Independent retailers are expected to attract more than one in five shoppers on a mission to stock up for upcoming rugby matches. Only supermarkets are discounters are expected to attract more footfall. In contrast to independents, 16% of shoppers intend to visit a symbol convenience store and 18% a small format supermarket.

Using instore POS will be vital in informing shoppers that a particular store has all the accessories needed to cater for those on a ‘rugby world cup’ mission.

20% of shoppers intend to buy more premium products

In addition to this, 18% of shoppers say that price is less important to them. Retailers have a fantastic opportunity to generate incremental sales by highlighting and encouraging shoppers to purchase premium products, particularly with the majority of shoppers looking to watch the games at home and get their supplies from their local convenience store.

To sum up, the Rugby World Cup is a huge sporting occasion, which will attract a huge number of viewers. Due to the timings of the games, the majority of these viewers will be at home when watching and therefore reliant on the grocery retail market for their food and drink needs. Convenience retailers are in a prime position to cater for these shoppers and  should use POS to drive footfall and highlight the offering they have available.