From a Breaking Bad reunion to cracking jokes with Mr. Peanut: What to expect this Super Bowl Sunday

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Image Credit: Frito-Lay North America
Image Credit: Frito-Lay North America

Related tags Snack food Super bowl chips

The coming week leading up to the Super Bowl — and the day itself — is a time for snack brands to roll out new products, marketing messages, and promotions, as consumers get their game on by chomping into their favorite snack foods. This year is no exception as brands like PopCorners, M&Ms, and Mr. Peanut have turned to expensive, celebrity-led commercials to promote their products.

While snack brands are counting down the days for their commercials to air during the big game, the snack market itself is staying strong despite inflationary concerns​. Looking at last year's numbers, snack sales increased by 10.5% to $616m during Super Bowl week 2022 from the week prior, according to data from analytic company IRI ​commissioned by the snack industry trade association SNAC.

"The week before the Super Bowl continues to be the ‘Black Friday of the Snack Industry.’ In addition to what's happening on the field, party throwers and game watchers prove that your snack game is just as important as the actual football game,​" said Christine Cochran, president and CEO of SNAC.

Chips, pretzels, cheese are on the Super Bowl menu

In terms of what snacks consumers are dipping and crunching the most during the Super Bowl, IRI found that tortilla chips increased by 22%, potato chips by 10.1%, pretzels by 6.8%, and cheese snacks by 6.7%. Consumers are also looking to dunk their chips in a variety of refrigerated dips, which increased by 32.6% for the same period last year.

And while many consumers are stocking up on snacks early, 49% of consumers say running out of snacks during the game is worse than their team losing, with 62% saying they’d refill snacks during commercials, Frito-Lays shared in a survey​ of 2,000 US consumers in January.

Snack companies make the big plays

Just as brands are looking to make some noise before the game, they are also hoping star-studded commercials will generate buzz during, and most importantly, after the game. Some of the snack-related commercials for this year include:

  • PopCorners breaks bad​: The meth-making duo of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman from the hit TV show Breaking Bad will be making a reunion during the PopCorners commercial. Inspired by the original show and featuring original cast members and head writer/director Vince Gilligan, the commercial will feature the air-popped snack chip, as the main characters "Break Into Something Good," the tagline for PopCorners. In addition to this ad, Frito-Lay will be running several commercials for Doritos. 
  • Maya Rudolph rebrands M&Ms to ‘Ma&Ya's’​: After taking "an indefinite pause​" from the spokescandies last month​, M&M has appointed actress Maya Rudolph as the spokesperson. During the Super Bowl, she will appear in a commercial promoting the rebrand of M&M's to "Ma&Ya's." While the spokecandies aren't making a return, Mars noted that the spokecandies have "relished in new activities," with the Orange M&M becoming a meditation content host on Spotify, and the Purple M&M is "continuing her mission of spreading authenticity and acceptance through her passion for music" by working with vocal coaches Cheryl Porter to create music.
  • Mr. Peanut gets roasted by Jeff Ross​: Following his death and resurrection two years ago as “Baby Nut,” Mr. Peanut is back to get "roasted" this Super Bowl by comedian Jeff Ross. When asked about the opportunity, Ross commented on how Mr. Peanut helped him through "some tough times personally," including when he "was lonely at the bar or stuck in traffic," and people will have to tune in to see if "Mr. Peanut can take the joke or if he finally cracks."
  • Tillamook lays down some cheesy tracks​: Cheesemaker Tillamook has created "Block Jams," a compilation of cheese-based songs to promote its various products. These songs include "Double Dippin' With You" by Goodboy Noah for its sharp cheddar block, "C.H.D.D.R." by Carson Elliott for its shredded sharp cheddar, and "Stack That Cheddar" by Grace Hayes for its sharp cheddar slices.

In addition to these snack brands, DiGiorno, Quaker, PepsiCo (with its lemon-lime soda and reformulation of Pepsi Zero Sugar​), Tostitos, Taco Bell, Popeyes, and many other companies will be airing Super Bowl commercials or promotions for the occasion.

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