Supermarkets ready for football fans stocking up to watch Euros at home

Tesco said it expected to sell 33 million packs of beer and cider over the coming month.

Football fans stocking up the fridge to watch the Euros from home
Football fans stocking up the fridge to watch the Euros from home (David Davies/PA)

Supermarkets say they are ready for one of their busiest periods of the year as football fans stock the fridge to watch the Euros from home.

Tesco said it expected to sell 33 million packs of beer and cider over the coming month but is also predicting it will sell 5.5 million bottles and cans of “no” and “low” alcohol options – a record for a major football tournament.

The supermarket said sales figures showed beer tastes had changed considerably since the 2006 World Cup in Germany, when 80% of all beer and cider sold in the retail trade during the tournament was lager.

For this year’s tournament, it expects lager to account for 50% of sales, with the rest made up of cider, ale, stout, craft beer and “no and low” alcohol.

Wine sales are expected to top 30 million bottles, alongside more than 11 million pies, and more than 90,000 packs of bunting.

Tesco beer and cider buying manager James Renshaw said: “The tournament is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet and is set to create a month-long carnival-like atmosphere for millions of football fans.

“But this one will be different as we predict the highest ever demand for no and low alcohol beer and cider for a major football tournament, based on the spectacular growth we have seen in the last year.

“While these sales predictions for typical football viewers’ food and drink fare are estimates, we know from previous tournaments that when the sun shines demand can really go through the roof.

“We also know from previous tournaments that on days when home teams play, demand for beer, wine, pizzas and other snacks rockets and continues to rise with each successive round.”

Asda said it expects to sell 14 million units of Budweiser over the coming four weeks and more than 25,000 large-screen, ultra-high-definition TVs, with searches for “England” up 55% week-on-week, “Euros” up 48% and “Football” up 77%.

M&S said customers were currently buying five times as much Belgian lager as British lager, while sales of dips and “picky bits” were up 15% ahead of the first matches.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at analysts Kantar, said: “Major sporting events can have a big impact on grocery sales, particularly in categories like alcohol.

“During England’s quarter final match against France in the 2022 Fifa Men’s World Cup, take-home beer sales hit their biggest daily takings of the year outside of Christmas.

“Especially if it’s paired with warmer temperatures, this year’s summer of sport could deliver a welcome boost for the sector.”

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), which represents more than 6,000 independent businesses nationwide, said the tournament could mean a retail bonanza worth an estimated £2.75 billion.

Bira commercial director Jeff Moody said: “The Euros arriving in the summer months is fantastic timing for independent retailers after a challenging period. With favourable kick-off times aligning with the sunshine, we’re expecting pubs, hospitality businesses, convenience stores and electrical retailers in particular to cash in as fans flock to watch the matches.

“An England or Scotland run to the latter stages would provide an even bigger boost. It’s crucial this feel-good factor translates into more sales for all types of independent retailers as consumer confidence returns.”