October 25, 2021

Increase in sales of low and non-alcohol drinks in pubs during Euros

New research has unsurprisingly revealed a significant boost in footfall to pubs during England’s recent route to the Euro 2020 Final, with a poll of 4,000 UK adults revealing that half (50%) visited a pub to watch at least one football match during England’s opening matches.

The tournament also proved to be a powerful sales driver for the On-Trade, with the England vs Germany quarter-final on 29th June resulting in a 70% growth of beer sales compared to a normal Tuesday[1]. The final between England and Italy on 11th July, meanwhile, saw a staggering 131% uplift in draught sales compared to a regular Sunday.[2]

Beer was a standout drink for those watching football at the pub, consumed by over two-fifths (41%) of pub-goers. Yet there is also a clear shift among consumers towards moderation, with 63% opting for a no or low alcohol alternative, at least once when watching football at the pub.

“The return of international football this summer has brought the nation some excitement after a tough year, with half of us choosing to watch in the pub,” says JD Thumelaire, On-Trade Sales Director at Budweiser Brewing Group, which conducted the research. “Setting the result aside, the real winners were the UK’s pubs and bars, as pub-goers flocked in their droves back into venues to celebrate together.”

The research from Budweiser Brewing Group reveals three significant sales opportunities publicans should prepare for ahead of the next major football tournament:

No and low alternatives

Beer is the most popular drink during football tournaments with 41% of pub-goers opting for a beer when watching England matches.

Yet the no and low category is going from strength to strength, and football tournaments are no exception. 63% of pub-goers opted for a no or low alternative whilst watching a match, over a fifth (22%) of whom did so regularly.

Enticing food offering

Food and beer pairings are key to success during international football tournaments. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of pub-goers purchased food during a match. In a tournament that brought the nation together, over a quarter (26%) of pub-goers choose sharing platters to enjoy with friends and family.

Not only will a strong food offering encourage pub goers to stay longer and spend more, but it also proved vital in enticing people into venues. Almost half (43%) of pub-goers would be more likely to choose a pub that serves food when watching international football.

Stocking up for success

When deciding on a beer to drink during the match, taste and quality perceptions were the biggest purchase driver (41%), demonstrating the importance of a well-stocked premium portfolio.

The research also revealed that Stella Artois was the top choice during this summer’s tournament with over one in 10 (16%) choosing the brand. Budweiser was also a fan favourite, enjoyed by 13% of pub-goers.


[1] Oxford Partnership Market Watch

[2] Oxford Partnerships, Euro 2020 On-Trade Winners and Losers Report