World Cup sparks beer war

By Anita Awbi

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: World cup, Asda, Price

A World Cup beer bonanza is underway in supermarkets across the UK
as leading retailers slash prices to under 50p per can to tempt
armchair fans.

There are dozens of cut-price deals on all major beer and lager brands in Tesco, Asda Wal-Mart, Sainsbury's and Morrison's, sparking a price war that will encourage consumers to stay away from pubs and remain at home.

The retailers are competing for a share of the £1.25bn (€1.81) extra consumer spend brought on by World Cup fever, and will step up advertising and promotions over the coming weeks to encourage shoppers.

The country's second largest grocer Asda is offering a 20-can pack of Stella Artois, Carlsberg, Fosters, Kronenbourg or Budweiser for £9.98, a discount of £4 on the usual retail price. Two packs are even cheaper at £16, with each can costing just 40p each.

Asda has launched a range of World Cup crisps, debuting flavours like French Garlic Frogs Legs, German Sausage, British Vindaloo and Brazilian Salsa to capture fans' attention.

The American-owned firm is also offering ready-meal deals, Union Jack car flags and an in-store children's football league.

Top England player Michael Owen is heading the football-themed television adverts showing throughout the month.

"We are trying to make shopping a bit more exciting for people,"​ an Asda spokesperson said.

"The World Cup is always a busy time for us and lots of people will be watching the games from home. More people are now deciding to do that, rather than pay more for drinks in a pub,"​ he added.

The supermarket claims beer sales this week are up 65 per cent on this time last year as customers stock up for the England-Paraguay match on Saturday.

Tennents and Miller Genuine Draft are the best sellers in Scotland, while Stella and Fosters outstrip rival brands in England.

Leading retailer Tesco has responded to Asda's price cuts by advertising 20 bottles of Stella Artois or Carlsberg for £10.98 or two for £16 - inviting customers to save more than £3.50 per pack. Deals are also available on Becks, Fosters, Carling and Strongbow Cider.

However, the chain has hinted it will slash prices further once the competition gets under way.

Tesco has also cut prices on ready-to-cook barbeque products, as analysts predict a boom in outdoor parties during the tournament.

Morrison's, Waitrose and Sainsbury's have followed suit by reducing beer multi-pack prices in line with the market leaders.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) for every week England remains in the tournament, consumers will spend an extra £124m on food and drink - mostly comprising of beer, but spirits, wines, snacks and confectionery are also expected to fly off the shelves.

"With continuing tough trading conditions and the recent nasty weather, retailers are welcoming any opportunities to maximise sales. We hope that the World Cup will contribute further to the signs of growth we've seen over the past few weeks, which indicate that consumer confidence is beginning to pick up,"​ said Kevin Hawkins, BRC director.

Related topics: Markets, Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cider

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