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FIFA World Cup 2018: Food sites, bars saw over 25% jump in sales on Sunday as consumers go all out to enjoy



Living rooms with television screens were busier than most kitchens on Sunday evening as France took on Croatia in the FIFA World Cup final in the Russian capital. While many ordered food on platforms like Zomato, Swiggy and Foodpanda, there were others who spent the evening with friends at restaurants and pubs that had put up big screens.

DLF Shopping Malls executive vice president and head Pushpa Bector said footfalls at Cyber Hub, one of the country’s most swish and sprawling hubs for high-end bars and restaurants, saw sales increase 20-25% on Sunday night, compared to regular Sundays. “We ran multiple FIFA-centric promotions through the month ourselves as well as along with restaurant partners. The final being on a Sunday also worked for fans.”

Zomato said it hit 600,000 orders during the FIFA final, while its monthly delivery order run rate touched 13 million orders. It received close to 125 orders every second during halftime when France led Croatia 2-1.

“Sunday was a great day for sports enthusiasts and overall growth trends have been fantastic. While the top cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad — are growing really fast, growth in tier-II and tier-III cities has also been really encouraging for us,” said Zomato chief executive Mohit Gupta.

Restauranter Ashish Kapur, promoter of premium bars including Whisky Samba and The Wine Company, said sales were up in the region of 20% across it stores in Delhi-NCR and Goa. “We ensured screens across all our bars in response to consumer feedback,” he said.
Other online food ordering delivery companies such as Swiggy and Foodpanda put additional riders in anticipation of demand. Many said sales for food and beverages at their eateries were at par with the T20 cricket world cup final which India hosted in 2016.Priyank Sukhija, promoter of popular bar chains Lord of the Drinks and Cafe Warehouse, said bookings shot up 200% for the FIFA final, with his outlets sporting television screens.

“IPL is an annual event and has lost its steam. But FIFA comes only once in four years and the timing and shorter game durations is perfect for consumers wanting to enjoy out of home. The last time we saw such peak demand was during the T20 cricket world cup in 2016,” said Rahul Singh, president of the National Restaurant Association of India and founder of Beer Cafe.

Brewers Carlsberg and AB Inbev recorded strong double-digit growth in sales since the World Cup finals started in Russia last month, with Budweiser beer in June posting its best ever monthly sales in India.

Swiggy said it strengthened its fleet of delivery partners across cities, especially in Kolkata with a higher number of football-loving fans. Foodpanda saw sales surge about 10-15% since the onset of the tournament, at par with the IPL when it had run a campaign.

Beer sales, which fell in India in the past two consecutive years after bans and price increases in some states, have seen a revival, too, during the month-long tournament.

“From shipment and market share point of view, last month has been historically high for Budweiser. Since we are fronting the FIFA sponsorship, we started the summer early with higher consumer offers and share of voice,” Kartikeya Sharma, marketing director–India at AB InBev said. The company had partnered with nearly 50 bars and pubs to screen the final where its brand was served exclusively.

While beer is a good fitment to have fun with friends especially while watching sports, the extended summer in the North of India helped the category performance too, said brewers.

“Overall, the beer category has witnessed double-digit volume growth for the month of June, primarily on account of the last year’s base effect of the highway ban getting corrected and also on account of the enhanced beer consumption in the ‘on premise’ channel on account of the current football fever,” said Mahesh Kanchan, vice-president of marketing at Carlsberg India.

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