Olympic fever

Rio 2016 logo

It’s hard to believe it has already been four years since the London Olympics but Rio is just around the corner. What lessons have retailers learned from London, and what should be the key strategies for leveraging one of the biggest sporting events on the planet? SLR finds out.

by Émer O’Toole


With many major manufacturers backing the Rio Olympics, and many more piggy-backing the event with new products and initiatives, how should retailers go about making the most of Rio?

Entertaining at home or having a Big Night In continues to be enjoyed throughout the year by shoppers of all ages, as friends and family choose to spend time together in the comfort of their own homes during TV sporting events. This broad appeal means that the Big Night In presents a great opportunity for retailers to tap into additional sales, providing the right snacking solutions for consumers looking for the perfect items to complement their evening. Kellogg’s, an official partner for Team GB, has put Team GB marketing across its brands plus a Win tickets to Rio flash as part of a competition.

“Retailers can lead the way in helping to build excitement about the Olympics by putting together attention-grabbing themed displays, complete with British or Brazilian flags and bunting, which see the soft drinks range merchandised alongside other high demand items such as sharing pack snack foods,” says Amy Burgess, Trade Communications Manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises, sponsor of the 2016 Olympics.

There are a number of different occasions that can be classified as a night in – from a formal planned night together, to a fun night in with a group of friends in front of the TV watching a film or sporting event. The rise in popularity of these Big Night In occasions has resulted in sharing packs playing an increasingly key role in the confectionery market. With so much great sport packing the television schedule this summer, this offers an even greater sales opportunity for retailers. This includes bitesize sharing packs, where Mars has four of the top five lines.

Bep Dhaliwal, Trade Communications Manager at Mars Chocolate, says: “As families and friends across the country gather to catch all the action from their living rooms and cheer on their favourite sport stars, they will be looking for new, innovative, and fun snacking formats to enjoy. Bitesize and sharing products will help retailers capitalise on this need and provide a boost to sales in store.”

With a packed summer of sport ahead, it is important to be prepared in advance. Confectionery will be a best seller in the run up to and during the Olympics, so place it in highly visible areas for the best sales. C-stores need to make the most of this sporting event to gain extra sales.

Mars’ top tips
  • Consumers love ‘event’ displays, so why not set up a sporting display containing everything consumers need for a night in front of the TV. This could include Mars, Galaxy, M&M’s, Maltesers & Revels and a mixture of savoury snacks and drinks. Retailers can even add a bit of theatre using national flags. This will encourage additional basket spend in store and make it easier for customers to fulfill their shopping mission.
  • Multi-facing key lines helps to ensure strong availability and attract shoppers to make those all-important impulse purchases.
  • Ensure you use all POS available to you, such as dump bins & counter units. These are guaranteed to raise awareness and generate sales. The Mars Slenda Glenda is also available for those retailers who have limited space in store.
  • Bestsellers should be displayed in a prime location, for example at eye level on a wall display.