FIFA fever leads to sales surge in pubs

Alcohol payment and delivery startup HipBar which recently saw investment from Diageo sees a 35 increase in beer sale during match nights
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Right after work, Arvind Rajendran, an software professional, watched the “crucial” match where Brazil qualified to the quarter finals, in a Diff42, a pub in Chennai, along with his fellow fans. With offers running in the pub for pitchers of craft beer, matches are a lot more fun and pubs attract more audience. “It is better to catch live streaming of matches in a pub with chilled beer, rather than at home with a bottle of beer,” he added.

The demand for the alcoholic beverage is seeing an uptick in India on match days and the demand is further increasing as the quarter finals have set in. Pubs and clubs, which have been running offers along with live screenings of matches, are seeing more uptick for beer, as opposed to other alcoholic beverages. “We have offers running for alcohol and beer and we see more sales happening on crucial match days, because the world cup coincides with when their work ends. Weekends are also running to packed houses. While other beverages used to account for 60% of sale before the tournament kicked in as opposed to beer, now the ratios have reversed,” said Eddie Raj, operations manager at The Slate Hotels, Nungambakkam.

Alcohol payment and delivery startup HipBar, which recently saw investment from Diageo, sees a 35% increase in beer sale during match nights.

Brewers add that with the matches happening in Russia and the time difference favouring viewership of live matches, beer sales have gone up. Coincidence of world cup with summer has further contributed to a rise in consumers who prefer a chilled beer with a game. Delhi-based White Rhino, which operates in the premium segment, saw 25% growth between May and June, thanks to FIFA. “We see more sales coming from pubs, rather than retail outlets. Weekdays fare better, since fans catch up in sports bars, after work hours,” said Arijit Ghosh, area sales manager, White Rhino brewing.

Pubs and restobars, which earlier saw a peak in sale during the IPL, witness close to 3-5% increase in demand during FIFA, with the growing fan base for football. They also run offers to fans to watch happening matches, bet on their favorite team and stand a chance to win free beers. “FIFA World Cup 2018 began on 14th June, and till 26th June - 13 initial days we have witnessed sales growth of 19.5% and, with the tournament going into the exciting knockout phase and culminating into the finals on 15th July, this will go up further”, says Rahul Singh founder & CEO, The Beer Cafe.

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