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The Olympic Games should not cause consumption to explode... except for beer and pizza

Despite the slowdown in inflation, we shouldn't expect to see the French and tourists splurging in stores during the Olympics.

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The Olympic Games should not cause consumption to explode... except for beer and pizza

Despite the slowdown in inflation, we shouldn't expect to see the French and tourists splurging in stores during the Olympics. In a study published this Wednesday, the specialist firm NielsenIQ predicts a “limited impact on mass consumption in general” in France.

On the other hand, certain food products could benefit from a knock-on effect thanks to the Games. NielsenIQ says it “naturally expects positive impacts for “social”, convivial and/or summer categories, especially after mixed weather in August 2023”, as is the case during any major sporting event. Behind this classification, we find beers, which could see their volume sales jump by 10 to 20% in stores, pizzas (from 5 to 10%), still fruit drinks (from 10 to 15%) and carbonated ( from 5 to 10%), or even savory aperitif products (from 8 to 12%).

What if French athletes were to outperform at the Games, collecting gold medals? NielsenIQ dampens the hopes of distributors and brands a little: there is no additional impact to be expected. On the other hand, professionals will have to carefully monitor the sky. “The weather effect is more important than the performances of French athletes,” underlines NielsenIQ. The panelist illustrates this maxim with the Football World Cup: in 2006, France reached the final (with the result that we know and Zinédine Zidane's header), and yet consumption was lower than during the 2010 World Cup, a real trauma for French supporters with a pitiful elimination in the group stage and the players' strike in Knysna, South Africa.

Also read “I have no reservations”: 100 days before the Olympics, the disillusionment of hoteliers and Airbnb owners

Before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, NielsenIQ summed up this observation in one sentence: “For consumption in France, 3 degrees warmer is better than 3 goals from Karim Benzema in Brazil.” It will be the same this summer: “The weather effect can bring a significant surplus of growth, from 0.5 to 1 point of additional volume growth for food categories in the event of favorable weather during the event,” points out the institute.

If the effect on consumption appears to be limited on a national scale, we should expect it to be more significant in the cities hosting the events, especially in Paris and more generally in Île-de-France. For example, during the London Games in 2012, sales of consumer goods increased by 0.4% on average in the United Kingdom, but by 5.3% in London. Furthermore, it is obviously not just large stores that could benefit from the Olympic Games effect: cafes, hotels and restaurants, particularly in Paris, should also benefit. Especially since NielsenIQ underlines that “24% of the tests will take place during meal times, enough to arouse the desire to share these moments in bars, brasseries or other pubs”.

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