Last week, The Grocer revealed that eight of the 10 leading beer and cider brands were cheaper ahead of the current World Cup in Brazil than they were before the last tournament in South Africa four years ago.
But the promotional intensity doesn’t just apply to booze. The latest figures from promotions specialists Assosia show the major multiples are competing hard across the board for that all-important World Cup spend.
Of the six biggest grocers, only Sainsbury’s was running fewer deals in the four weeks to 8 June than during the previous four weeks, and all the retailers were offering increased savings per deal.
Sainsbury’s was the exception partly because it has taken a different tack when it comes to the World Cup, says Assosia MD Kay Staniland.
“Sainsbury’s takes its sport seriously and allocates featured space to various World Cup related paraphernalia that is not on promotion,” she says.
However, it means Sainsbury’s slipped behind Tesco in terms of total deals. Tesco carried 2,558 offers in featured space over the period, compared with Sainsbury’s 2,516. Morrisons had 2,216, Asda 2,045, Waitrose 1,248 and The Co-op Group just 794.
Staniland says that while this is historically a crucial time for alcohol, party food and snacks, beer is not as prominent in some retailers as others, with wine being the most heavily promoted category. Wine dominates featured space deals for all the retailers except The Co-op Group.
In terms of the type of deal retailers are offering, simple save promotions remain the most in vogue. Its share all deals is up nearly eight percentage points compared with last year, to 46.9%. And the writing on the wall is becoming more apparent for ‘extra free’ deals, which now make up just 0.4% of all deals across the UK’s biggest grocery retailers.
The picture is the same comparing prices versus last year. Only The Co-operative Group is offering significantly less deals than a year ago, while Tesco has increased deal volume by almost 17%. In August, The Co-op Group CEO of retail Steve Murrells said it was looking to focus more on “real promotions” rather than “slightly artificial ones.”