Super Bowl 2013 on February 3 is one of the major sporting events in the US calendar and with it comes one of the biggest national snacking occasions in the year.
“It’s a good day for all snack companies. It’s hard to think of other times that a US consumer is so trained and has a tradition of eating snack foods while watching a game,” said Matthew Hudak, packaged food analyst at Euromonitor International.
Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com, Hudak said that snack makers must target the celebratory mindset of consumers.
“There’s a Super Bowl mindset and companies just need to follow that mindset. It’s about chilling out and eating,” he said.
Companies need to push brands forward into this mindset; present the product in a Super Bowl setting and not just on its own, he said.
“It’s about making the brand part of a Super Bowl idea, like a party. Snack companies need to show a consumer what Super Bowl would be like with that brand and how it would fit in,” he said.
This can be done through imagery on social media, online, TV or in-store, he said, with pictures of friends crowded round a TV enjoying the game or a Super Bowl party featuring the snack brand.
“Share packs for families and friends are a smart idea – a ‘Super Bowl size’ pack, and the bigger the better,” he said.
Pass the dip…
Potato chips and tortilla chips are going to fare well – anything that can be used for dipping will be a popular choice, Hudak said.
“Ruffles for example has just launched chips with bigger ridges that are better for dipping, and I’m guessing that will do well.”
When developing a product to appeal on the occasion, Hudak said snack makers must keep in mind what people will be eating.
“Hot wings and beer is a huge tradition and of course pizza is another favorite. So snack makers could look to develop flavors that pair well with these food favorites. This is a great strategy.”
The playoffs: Calorie counting v indulgence
“It’s obviously an indulgent occasion. Health values get thrown out the window quite a bit more as this is a day to indulge. People aren’t quite calorie counting as much as they normally would,” Hudak said.
For healthy snacks and healthier variants to work, flavor profiles would have to be tasty and indulgent still, he said, “it’s all about being smart”.
“There’s a widespread idea that you can have your cake and eat it too – especially given all the products on the market that are positioned as healthful or better for you,” he said.
Although the majority of consumers are set to reach for the potato and tortilla chips instead of fruit and veggie snacks, Hudak said this is still probably going to be one of the healthiest Super Bowls the country has seen.