On-trade

Six Nations kicks-off sporting sales in pubs

With rugby’s Six Nations having begun last weekend, research from market analyst CGA shows the huge potential of sporting occasions to boost drinks sales in pubs and bars across the Island of Ireland.

As in most territories, football is the most popular sport in pubs and bars.

As in most territories, football is the most popular sport in pubs and bars.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers on the island watch sport and 42% do so in pubs and bars, according to CGA’s latest On-Premise User Study which provides insight into consumer habits and sales in Ireland’s on-trade.
Consumers aged 35 to 54 are most likely to watch — and while men make up the majority, no less than 41% are female.

The Opus research highlights the huge value of sports consumers to operators and suppliers. Nearly half (45%) of them visit the on-trade for drinks-led occasions at least weekly compared to fewer than a third (29%) of all consumers. They’re also much more likely than average to use food pubs and late-night bars.

As in most territories, football is the most popular sport in pubs and bars, watched by just over two thirds (68%) with GAA scoring 39%. Atmosphere is also a factor in venue choice for 44% of sports fans, making it the biggest consideration ahead of location (40%) and seating availability (38%).

Sporting drinks choice

Lager is the most popular drink amongst consumers watching events in pubs and bars, with 60% drinking lager and 30% opting for stout.

“Both numbers are much higher than the all-consumer average,” states CGA.
At 33%, vodka is the most popular spirit amongst sports-watching consumers, with whiskey coming in a close second at 30%.
“The Six Nations is a timely reminder of the huge popularity of sport in Ireland’s pubs and bars and the tournament should give drinks sales a much-needed shot in the arm,” commented Sian Brennan, CGA’s Client Director for Ireland,

“But as our research shows, there are big opportunities to generate sales against sporting occasions right across the year. It’s a market that should flourish as consumers return to the On-Premise after months of restrictions and working out the motivations and habits of sports fans will help suppliers and operators to grow sales and build brands as 2022 goes on.”

CGA’s Opus research combines with the On-Trade Measurement service to provide a definitive picture of consumers’ habits and sales trends in Ireland’s on-trade. It provides insights into sports fans’ engagement with pubs and bars that can help suppliers and operators understand drinkers’ preferences, ways to influence choices and how to position brands. To learn more, e-mail Sian Brennan at sian.brennan@cgastrategy.com.

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