Home / Industry / Retail /  Pubs, eateries bank on FIFA World Cup to lift consumption

New Delhi: Eateries and pubs as well as liquor companies are hoping the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 will boost sales as football fans step out and watch the sporting event in groups.

Live screening of matches, and that too at timings suited to Indian audiences—such as early and late evenings—are likely to help footfall at pubs and bars, said owners. Others said the event could also help increase at-home consumption of food and beverages.

World Cup matches, being held in Qatar, run from 20 November to 18 December. Even though India has never made it to the World Cup, football has a massive fanbase in states such as Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab and Goa.

“Football remains the second-largest watched sport in the country with not just tier-I towns, but tier-II towns also fuelling this growth. The timing of the matches aired is ideal as our category consumption peaks during the evening when the matches are played thus, creating a surge in demand," said Vineet Sharma, vice president, marketing, South Asia, AB InBev. Budweiser has been the official beer sponsor of FIFA World Cup since 1986.

Budweiser will focus on consumer promotions at retail outlets, elevate match viewing experience in pubs and bars along with influencer collaborations to connect with football fans across the country, said Sharma. “Sporting events of this stature are high-energy occasions where we would like to be the preferred choice of beverage for fans across the country," he added.

The food services industry also rides on large sporting events as consumers gather in groups to watch live matches in pubs and restaurants. With the last two years of covid that impacted the eating-out business, restaurant and pub companies are keen to maximize the benefits of such events.

“We are definitely expecting increased bookings and footfall as soccer has become a prime sport specially with the young generation. Consumer demand is already peaking to pre-covid days. The World Cup will further drive up this demand. We have come up with a special menu for FIFA in all our outlets to attract soccer fans. We are doing live screening of the matches and have also decorated our outlets to create an apt ambience for them to enjoy in all ways,“ said Vikrant Batra, co-founder, Cafe Delhi Heights.

Irish House, a chain of 20 bars and pubs owned by K Hospitality has ramped up marketing around the Cup. Matches being live-streamed at 9:30 pm may do well to pull in the crowds, said Sanju Arora, general manager at the chain. “FIFA World Cup is the most talked about sporting event in the country right now—we are screening live-matches pan-India," he said. It may be too early to see an immediate impact on footfall, but in pockets of Bengaluru and Mumbai inquiries have started to flow in, Arora said.

Sagar Daryani, founder, Wow Momo! expects the matches to help lift home deliveries for eateries. In 2018, in the last leg of the previous Word Cup, the tournament’s official broadcaster for the year Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) India said a total of 110.5 million viewers watched the tournament.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Suneera Tandon

Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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