Amid continued rising costs, will the lights go out this winter? This is the most pressing question for businesses in the months ahead. The National Grid has warned blackouts may be imposed between 4pm and 7pm in January and February 2023.

If stores are to be included in these measures, not only could they face losing chilled and frozen stock due to waste, but they could also lose out on those valuable after-school trading hours. This would likely lead to a hit to single-serve drinks and snacks sales.

The silver lining for retailers is there are of course two major events to try and drum up as much profit as possible, which will keep them ticking over during a more painful January than usual.

Christmas is the main one, of course. While 62% of people say they will spend less money on gifts this year, they are likely to better ring fence their food and drink budget – predicted to be £207 on average this year, only £5 lower than 2021.

The second opportunity is the World Cup, and this is where the cost-of-living crisis could actually benefit stores. Our lead story below is research from Reapp that predicts the rise of the ‘fakeaway’ during the tournament. With 70% of fans tipped to watch the matches at home, Budweiser is similarly predicting growth – a 13.5% uplift in off-trade sales this winter around the World Cup.

So, where soft drinks and snacks suppliers could lose out on single-serve sales in the 2023 afternoon blackouts, there is opportunity for them to make their money on larger formats for the next two months. The World Cup kicks off on 20th November. England and Wales have evening matches the week after. Brands must throw everything at their comms to help stores build excitement and try to shake the winter gloom.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you maximise your sales during the World Cup and Christmas

Five key FMCG stories this month

  1. Convenience Store: World Cup 2022 set to kick off ‘fakeaway’ growth
  2. betterRetailing: Be prepared for winter blackouts, stores warned
  3. Convenience Store: Asda has outlined plans to open 30 new convenience stores in 2023
  4. Talking Retail: MealTrak results show encouraging multiple and c-store food-to-go performance
  5. The Grocer: Co-op trials reduced lighting in stores to lower energy costs