World Cup 2014: Handle Sporting Event Food And Drink Promotions With Care, Says New Study

The nation is set to go football crazy once again and a new study reveals what UK shoppers feel about brands exploiting the World Cup, in terms of product and pack promotions and sponsorships.

While a quarter of people polled think World Cup promotions on packaging help the excitement to build, and 18 per cent said they would be more likely to choose a product if it showed a World Cup promotion, over half are disparaging of brands getting involved in World Cup promotions which is more than the number of people that claim to have seen a food and drink brand with a World Cup in-store promotion.

In the survey, carried out in the last week of May, just over a quarter of people are open to trying Brazilian influenced foods as well as limited edition products launched by companies for the World Cup, presenting ways for brands to engage with new and existing consumers. Females in particular, claim they are more open to trying Brazilian cuisine.

"Food and drink manufacturers need to tread carefully in view of consumers' World Cup promotion fatigue. Please don't make random associations just to jump on the bandwagon; the fit has to be just right to cut through the competition. Promotions' true impact should be not focussed solely on the immediate returns in terms of hard and fast sales but also take into consideration the impact on longer term brand equity and consumer loyalty," says Mat Lintern, Global Managing Director of MMR Research Worldwide.

Brands and the World Cup
When asked directly, there are fairly high levels of awareness that sponsors Coca Cola (65 per cent), Adidas (63 per cent), McDonalds (48 per cent) and Budweiser (39 per cent) are sponsoring the World Cup. But there are high endorsements for Nike (56 per cent), Lucozade (37 per cent) and Mars (35 per cent) which are not sponsors of the tournament. Brands which are involved in football in other ways, for example by sponsoring players, are still benefitting from heightened awareness around the World Cup.

Brazilian food knowledge
The study queried consumers' knowledge of Brazilian food.

Around a fifth think some of the limited edition products in the UK (for example, Lucozade The Brazilian, Lucozade Sport Brazilian Guava and Pot Noodle Brazilian BBQ Steak) are "very Brazilian" and this rises to nearly a third amongst 16-34 year olds!

This is substantially behind genuine Brazilian cuisine, favoured particularly by the ABC1 social class, such as carioca beans, caiprinha cocktail and guava paste / jam. Foods such as coconut cake, black beans, batata palha crisps, cassava flour and Brahma beer, which are authentic Brazilian foods, currently have less of a strong link with the country.

Women are more interested in trying lacta diamante negro chocolate, coconut cake, caipirinha cocktail and cheese bread mix while males are more interested in Brahma beer.

Food and drink occasions
With the biggest tournament in football about to kick off, 95 per cent of people quizzed by MMR Research Worldwide (MMR) say they will be watching games in the comfort of their own homes.

This compares to 33 per cent who will watch at a pub or bar, 25 per cent who will watch at a friend's house, and 9 per cent will watch at work. The younger generation, particularly 16 to 34 year-olds, is more likely to watch games in a pub or bar or at a friend's house.

"Watching matches on terrestrial television from the comfort of their sofa in the living room remains by far the most popular way football fans will enjoy the World Cup," says Mat Lintern, Global Managing Director of MMR Research Worldwide, whose team of researchers will also capture the British public's attitudes to the World Cup after the tournament.


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