Just days ago, bunting adorned aisles; pallets of lager, cider and crisps filled foyers; and England flags were being sold full price on gondola ends rather than flogged off at a 75% discount.

England’s World Cup campaign was tragically short, but its run-up brought major changes to retailers’ promotional activity in featured space.

Categories to take a greater share of space included beers, wines and spirits (up just over a percentage point year on year to 21% of all featured promotions in the top five retailers); soft drinks; and crisps, nuts & snacks [4 w/e 15 June 2014]. Fruit, chilled dairy and petcare all lost space.

Perhaps more surprising was how much deeper promotions were than a year ago – as The Grocer recently revealed many lager brands were cheaper in the run-up to Brazil than before the 2010 World Cup.

In the four-week period, the average discount on beer was 22.2%, according to data from retail analysts Assosia, more than five points deeper than a year ago. The number of deals on Foster’s more than doubled year on year from 28 to 59, while the average saving increased from 13.4% to 18.8%. Other brands to offer deeper deals than a year ago were Stella Artois (up from 13.8% to 23%), Budweiser (10.2% to 22.9%) and Carlsberg 16.5% to 31%.

In total, 480 deals were offered on beer, up from 400 a year ago. Over the same period, the number of deals in the cider category almost doubled to 126. Deals on wine also rose, with current top-promoting wine brand Hardys offering 121 compared with 50 a year ago, while reducing depth of deal.

And discounts on soft drinks have also risen year on year, from 32.4% to 37.3%, with Coca-Cola offering deals 3.5 percentage points steeper than a year ago – though below the category average – and upping promotions from 132 to 169.

With the World Cup offering a big opportunity for branded suppliers to drive sales promotions on branded lines rose from 8,785 to 9,359. Conversely, the number of own-label deals fell from 2,157 to 2,012. 

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