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How were drinks and snacks promoted during UEFA Euro 2016?

By Chris Elliott

UEFA Euro 2016’s final will be played on July 10 and is set to draw a live audience of more than 300 million viewers.

Retailers and brands have had the perfect opportunity to promote to a huge captive audience during the Euros.

So far, retailers’ promotional strategies have proved profitable, with grocery value sales increased by 0.4 percent, in the four weeks ending 18 June 2016 compared to the same time a year ago (NamNews). This uplift was likely boosted by promotions on Beers, Wines & Spirits, and Crisps and Snacking Nuts which saw value sales growth of 6.2 percent and 4.2 percent year on year growth respectively (Nielsen).

A number of brands within the drinks and snacking categories, including Carlsberg and Coca-Cola are global sponsors of UEFA Euro 2016. They’ve joined brands, such as Doritos, in the heavy promotion and advertising of their products over the tournament to boost sales.

Promotional analysis of key grocery categories

Brand View has reviewed the promotional activity in the Beers, Lagers and Cider, Carbonates and Crisps and Snacking Nuts categories during UEFA Euro 2016.

Brand View has analysed the number of promotions in these categories in the two months before, to two weeks into the tournament (4 April – 23 June) in Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.

There was a greater number of Carbonates promotions at the beginning of the analysis period, but this then dipped over the following three weeks. On 9 May the number of promotions began to increase and then levelled off as the tournament started on 10 June. The depth of cut of the Carbonates category followed a similar pattern to the promotional cycles.

uefa euro 2016 promotions grocery retailers uk

Crisp and Snacking Nuts promotions dipped significantly between 12 May and 25 May before increasing greatly before the start of UEFA Euro 2016. There was a 6.9 percent increase in the percentage of Crisp and Snacking Nut products on promotion between 12 May and 23 June. The depth of cut of Crisp and Snacking Nut products follows a similar pattern with a 2.3 percent increase in depth of cut between 12 May and 23 June.

The depth of cut of Beers, Lager and Cider did not change markedly over the analysis period, while the percentage of products on promotion only increased by 1.8 percent

The large peaks on the chart represent Tesco and Sainsbury’s switching of promotional cycles – older promotions did not end immediately as new ones began, which influenced the peaks in percentage of products on promotion.

Which Lager brands were most heavily promoted?

Carlsberg was the ‘Official Beer’ sponsor of the UEFA Euro 2016 – its promotions equated to 2.4 percent of lager promotions running from 1 June to 22 June.

Carlsberg promoted 51.1 percent of its range across the retailers and was the sixth most promoted brand during the analysis period.

Stella Artois had the largest proportion of promoted products from 1 June – 22 June, with 5.6 percent of the total number of products on promotion. Some 22.3 percent of Stella Artois promotions during the analysis period were targeted at Wimbledon fans and advertised the opportunity to win tickets.

lager promotions by brand UEFA Euro 2016

Heineken accounted for 3.9 percent of promotions and their Amstel brand accounted for an additional 1.5 percent. Heineken launched its first TV campaign for its premium Amstel, to support the brand’s relaunch earlier this year, during the England versus Slovakia match on 20 June.

Cobra Premium and Singha had the greatest percentage of their ranges on promotion. Singha did not have any specific UEFA Euro 2016 promotions on its website, although it is currently a sponsor of Leicester City and Chelsea football clubs.

Which Carbonates brands were most heavily promoted?

Coca-Cola offered its biggest ever Euro ticket giveaway to fans ahead of this year’s tournament.

coca cola promotions uefa euro 2016
Coca-Cola website 27 June 2016


To support its advertising campaign, Brand View analysis shows that Coca-Cola had the greatest percentage of its range on promotion with 54.6 percent promoted at the major retailers, from 1 June to 22 June. Diet Coke had the largest proportion of products on promotion with 17.5 percent, followed by Coca-Cola with 15.6 percent and Schweppes with 12.7 percent.

Britvic brands, including 7 Up, Pepsi and Tango, accounted for only 14.1 percent of products on promotion, although 49.5 percent of its range was on promotion. Pepsi Max made up the largest proportion of Britvic’s promotions with 23.7 percent, followed by Tango with 18.6 percent and Diet Pepsi with 16.2 percent.

carbonates promotions uefa euro 2016

Which Crisps and Snacking Nuts brands were most heavily promoted?

Walkers accounted for 13.5 percent of promotions, while Walkers Sunbites accounted for 4.3 percent of all Crisps and Snacking Nuts promotions. Walkers Sunbites had the greatest percentage of its range on promotion with 78.3 percent and the standard Walkers brand had the third greatest with 68.7 percent on promotion.

Doritos and Pringles both advertised heavily for UEFA Euro 2016 – both featured a football-related headline banner on their brand sites.

doritos uefa euro 2016 advert
Doritos website 27 June 2016


Doritos had the second highest percentage of its range on promotion, with 70.0 percent of its products on promotion. The brand accounted for 3.8 percent of total promotions over the time period.

Pringles had the 7th greatest percentage of its range on promotion with 63.3 percent. The brand made up 5.0 percent of total promotions, making it the fifth largest brand in terms of percentage of total promotions.

crisps and snacking nuts promotions uefa euro 2016

A move away from promotions towards more consistent low pricing

The UEFA Euro 2016 tournament provided an opportunity for many brands to introduce new promotional strategies. Coca-Cola, a global sponsor, was the most promoted carbonates brand, although Carlsberg, the official beer sponsor, was not the most heavily promoted lager, despite having 50 percent of its range on promotion.

The analysis illustrates that the level of promotions did not increase significantly before UEFA Euro 2016. This could be indicative of the well-publicised move, by supermarkets, towards everyday lower prices, instead of seemingly complex promotions. Sales data from Nielsen shows that the average spend on promoted items on a supermarket shopping bill has remained at 29 percent for three months.

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