The long hot summer could lead to a Christmas of cold comfort for retailers struggling to meet festive demand.

And try as brand managers might to replicate the excitement of last year’s football World Cup, which gave beer a massive boost, growth in alcohol sales has taken a dip.

Although alcohol remains buoyant, bringing £6.6bn into the multiples and co-ops annually, the 13% growth experienced last year has slowed to just 6% [TNS, 52 w/e 17 August 03].

The Rugby World Cup does not offer retailers the same opportunity for sales as its footballing counterpart and the lack of any other major sporting event has forced suppliers and brewers in particular to employ greater creativity in their quest for sales.

Full details in this week’s Focus on Alcoholic Drinks in The Grocer magazine - out Saturday.