Sales of gourmet and healthy snacks soared during the World Cup as football fans upgraded their match-day nibbles.

TNS Worldpanel figures show that in the four weeks to 18 June, with the World Cup beginning on 9 June, year-on-year value sales of olives rose 22% among World Cup watchers, with uplifts of 20.7% recorded for chilled dips, 44.5% for savoury biscuits, 12.2% for cheese and 15.1% for speciality pickles.

Health-conscious football fans, meanwhile, drove up sales of fresh fruit and vegetables by 10.8% during the four-week period.

Giles Quick, TNS director, said that the widening of football's popularity in recent years had contributed to the rise. "If we look at the World Cup we can see that it's not just for working class lads anymore.

"Football now engages the middle classes - the Waitrose set - and this is reflected in the shift in snacking towards healthy and gourmet foods."

However, sales of old favourites didn't suffer, with sales of crisps and savoury snacks rising 24% among World Cup watchers compared with the same period last year, and sales of nuts up 10.4%.

Sales of beer rose 32%, with one in five households watching the World Cup buying lager from a supermarket in the first week of the tournament.

Quick said: "The growth recorded is incremental, so growth in posh and healthy snacks has not come at the expense of salty snacks.

"Good weather encourages snacking generally, but sales growth among World Cup watchers has far outstripped the growth among those not watching the tournament."

More opportunities for social occasions provided by the tournament also drove sales of toiletries up, with sales of deodorant and shower gel rising 14.5% among watchers of the World Cup. Sales of mouthwash rose by 16%.

Sales of air fresheners were up 26%, bin liners 15% and kitchen towels 16%.

TNS figures also show that 27% of English adults bought an England flag in the four weeks to 18 June.