Our figure of the month 06/2018: Influence of the Men's World Cup on beverages retail trade


A glance at the monthly retail sales figures indicates that the old German saying that "King football rules the world" still applies today. More precisely, the figures for the various economic sectors in retail trade adjusted by the Federal Statistical Office regarding seasonal and calendar effects reveal an effect of the World Cup on sales development. Data is available as of the beginning of 1994, so that a total of six World Championships, four of them with a maximum of seven matches for the German national team, and only two tournaments in which they had to say goodbye after five matches in the quarter-finals, can be analysed.

Figure 1 shows the average monthly sales development in beverages retail. For the whole period between 1994 until 2017, the average development of sales was calculated by comparing the monthly values with the respective January values of each year. The dark blue line shows the average for the whole period, i.e. 1994 until 2017. This graph has an almost horizontal development except for a slight rise in summer, which was to be expected due to the seasonal adjustment of the data. However, if only the average beverage retail sales in the years where a men's football World Cup took place is taken into account, a clear upward trend can be noticed during the two tournament months of June and July. The kind of drinks which lead to the purchase plus in beverage markets during these summer months cannot be deduced from the statistics. What is striking is that the strong World Cup months with high sales volume in beverages are usually followed by weak sales in August in those years. The grey line, which represents the average for those years without men’s football World Cup or European Championships, serves as a comparative graph.


Figure 2 shows that the mood in the beverages sales sector is performance-based: At the 1994 tournament in the USA, the German football team lost to Bulgaria in the quarter-finals. Also the tournament in France in 1998 the German team had to leave after five games after losing 0:3 against Croatia. The sales growth in beverage markets (turquoise line) seems to reflect this disappointment and is below average of all tournament years (blue line). Starting with the strong 8-0 win over Saudi Arabia in Japan and South Korea in 2002, the German soccer team seemed to be on a wave of success which resulted in two third places, twice runner-up, and finally the World cup title in 2014. The graph showing the beverage retail sales in the years of these five last world cups (grey line) have thus particularly high sales volumes in June and July.


The representatives of the retail trade with bicycles, sports and camping articles (WZ-47.64) have less reason to look forward to the World Cup months. There was no increase in sales in this sector during the World Cup months.

Sources: Konjunkturstatistiken Handel; Gastgewerbe, Statistisches Bundesamt; kicker.de

Other figures can be found here.

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