The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be hosted by Qatar, it will be the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East, and due to Qatar’s intense summer heat, the World Cup will be held from late-November to mid-December. This will make it the first tournament not to be held in May, June, or July. It is also to be played in a reduced timeframe of around 28 days.
What does this change of date mean to fans, shoppers, consumers and retailers? We conducted some research earlier this year to find out.
There is an opportunity to interest Non-Football fans
64% of our 1000+ UK adults were already planning to watch the World Cup when we carried out our research in July, with a further 16% unsure whether they will watch. However, there is a big opportunity for retailers across demographics, with 50% of Women planning to watch, with a further 24% unsure. Even traditional Non-Football fans are potentially interested, with 11% planning to watch and 32% unsure. Non-Football fans are more likely to buy in if England and Wales perform well at the tournament.
At home represents the biggest watching occasion
We asked specific questions about England’s group matches, to understand the different occasions and opportunities. For all three group-stage matches, most UK adults will watch at home (69%-75%).
The Friday 7pm kick-off represents a more out-of-home occasion (16%), while midweek evening fixtures have many adults who have not decided on where they will watch (12%), representing an opportunity to create an occasion. Most adults will be watching with family and friends, which presents a retailer opportunity to recreate the stadium experience at home with themed food such as burgers, hot dogs and nachos.
Fans are not currently planning to combine Christmas and World Cup events
When we asked our sample in July, 64% told us they were not planning on combining World Cup events with other social events during the Christmas period. This increased further for traditional Non-Football fans. Younger generations were slightly more likely to want to combine events.
UK adults view these events as separate, despite crossing over in UK Winter for the first time. For retailers, this means shoppers are looking for products to fulfil two distinct occasions, which will need to be communicated clearly in-store.
Fans are looking for meal inspiration when hosting World Cup games at home
With this year’s World Cup being played at a usual time of the year, fans are unsure if they will be buying special food. Nearly half aren’t planning to buy special food at all, but there is a significant opportunity with those who don’t yet know what they are planning to purchase.
Despite many not knowing what special food to buy or not planning to, typical “stadium-type food” is referred to as the most likely purchase when watching the FIFA World Cup at home. Items such as Crisps/popcorn/snacks are proving popular, with nearly 1 in 2 planning to purchase. More substantial meals like, Pizza, Burgers and Hot Dogs are also referred to as popular purchases and 1 in 5 are planning a takeaway.
How can you help?
With many football fans not looking to combine Christmas and World Cup events, and many watching at home, there is a big opportunity for brands and retailers to help hosts create the perfect matchday experience in their front rooms. Think about how you can appeal to consumers with either takeaway-type meals or “stadium food” that they can pick up before the game and easily prepare at halftime.