TURN ON THE TV: SPORT PROVES TO BE THE WINNER IN ON-TRADE


  • Live sporting events account for 70% of the top 10 biggest beer-drinking moments within the first quarter of the year[1].
  • Venues should take advantage of growing demand for Stouts and World Beers.

As we enter 2024, live sporting events are a must for On-Trade venues, forecasted to offer the biggest footfall opportunity in the first quarter of the year, according to Budweiser Brewing Group.

Traditionally the start of the year sees a dip in consumer spending in the On-Trade, but there are plenty of sporting occasions for venues to take advantage of. The opening three months of 2023 saw seven sporting occasions top the list of key-selling moments, with Six Nations matches accounting for five of those[2].

A premium sports offering is strongly linked to premium beer sales as viewers are more likely to trade up when watching games, compared to the average consumer.[3] Sporting occasions are often beer occasions, and consumers look for well-known brands during these moments, making household names such as Stella Artois, Budweiser, and Camden strong options.[4]

2024 looks set to continue this theme and makes the rugby tournament a must-show to take advantage of the packed fixture list across both February and March. The annual competition will dominate the drinks sector throughout the quarter with home nation games expected to cause a spike in sales, offering on-trade venues a real chance to maximise sales on the day. This is vital for venues as sporting fans spend an average of 36% more money when eating and drinking out, compared to those who don’t watch sports when visiting On-Trade venues[5].

This is also the case for major Champions League football games and relegation battle matches in the Premier League. Midweek relegation games such as Everton vs Crystal Palace (Monday 19th February), can provide increased footfall during traditionally quieter evenings of the week. This also sets venues up well for building momentum as a fan-favourite location ahead of UEFA Euro 2024.

“Following the Christmas and New Year’s buzz, businesses will be used to slower trade during the beginning of the year. However, there are still plenty of occasions that will drive people back into their local,” says Maria Neves,  Head of Category Management for the UK at Budweiser Brewing Group. “We’re a nation of sports fanatics and have a host of major tournaments approaching that are key dates to offer a chance for venues to benefit around the quieter moments in the coming months.”

In 2023, the stand-out categories in the beer market continued to be Draught World Larger and Stout. Compared to 2022, both grew 16.8% and 16.3%[6] respectively and are tipped to continue strongly into 2024.

The rapid increase in popularity of these two categories makes both must-haves on tap to capitalise on the market, with options including Mahou and Camden Stout.

Outside of sports, the remaining top 10 biggest beer-drinking days until April are payday[7] and St. Patrick’s Day, making them key occasions for pubs and bars to leverage[8].

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