Private Label Buyer Blog

Are You Seeing a World Cup Lift?

June 20, 2014

The retail world is full of predictable sales lifts related to annual sports events and holidays. This year, we get another boost from the World Cup, which only comes around every four years. A significant number of Americans overall watch the World Cup—in 2010, 111.6 million Americans watched the action, beating the Super Bowl (111.5 million in 2014—which broke the record for the most-watched broadcast in U.S. history). In 2010, 24.3 million U.S. viewers tuned into the Cup final, beating the World Series (which had 19.2 million U.S. viewers for the final game in 2013). You can bet that the Hispanic community is significantly represented in that mix. And the timing of the Cup also aligns nicely with barbecue season.

While retailers clearly find opportunity in working with official Cup sponsors, this event provides a significant opportunity for retailers to promote their own brands—most notably barbecue staples (opportunities for cross-merchandising of paper products, grilling sauces, and grill-ready vegetables and meats), ready-to-eat and speed-scratch deli items, and beverages (primarily beer). Including a nice mix of Hispanic-oriented foods will help drive traffic and awareness.

Kroger has been running a nicely timed Taste of México promotion and giveaway, which includes a promotion of specific Latin-accented products, including several store brands.

Another approach is to merchandise World Cup Panini stickers in areas of the store with a World Cup theme (again, outfitted with a nice mix of appealing national and store brands). Several retailers are carrying the popular stickers this year, including Walgreens, Target, Walmart and Family Dollar.

As we have noted in our ongoing analysis of private label sales via our PLBuyer Index, the deli has been on a tear of late. I anticipate that once we get around to analyzing the numbers for the period that includes the World Cup, that we’ll see another nice bump in store brand sales in the deli—particularly if retailers were on top own brand promotions.

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