Super Bowl ranks high among holiday weekends, snacks take center stage

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Image source: Getty/urbazon
Image source: Getty/urbazon

Related tags Super Bowl snacks Frito Lay

As Las Vegas prepares for the estimated $215bn economic growth from the additional 215,00 visitors for the Super Bowl, CPG companies and retailers have a significant opportunity to feature value-added offerings for viewers across the country, according to industry experts.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 11, cities beyond Las Vegas are expected to see “millions of dollars in increased spending,” Curtis Dubay, chief economist for the US Chamber of Commerce, said during a press call on Feb. 5.

Dubay emphasized the broad economic impact of the Super Bowl for cities across the country, citing “fans of the game and gatherings across the country, whether it’s local vendors selling game day snacks or companies that make the 11.2m pounds of potato chips that will be consumed, the Super Bowl is a great example of interconnectedness of the American business ecosystem.”

Brendon Plack, NFL’s SVP of public policy and government affairs, predicted that as one of the largest television events of the year, “with about 200m Americans tuned in to watch” last year, consumers are expected to drive up food and beverage sales through game day snacks, meals and travel.

“Grocery stores are a one-stop shop of convenience on game day for food,” said Jennifer Hatcher, the chief public policy officer and SVP of government and member relations for FMI – The Food Industry Association. As examples, she pointed to grocers’ value-added options around produce, prepared meals and grab-and-go options specifically created for Super Bowl parties.

From an economic perspective, Hatcher noted the significant impact from the food and agriculture industry—more than $8.6tn, or 20% of the country’s economic activity,”—while in Nevada, “the food industry represents 385,000 jobs, $20bn in wages and $9.7bn in taxes,” highlighting the potential for retailers and brands across the country to see a boost in sales.  

A Super Bowl-friendly food spread will make or break the weekend, Americans say

From chips and wings to pizza and chili, food plays a crucial role in how Americans experience their Super Bowl party. Frito-Lay’s Super Bowl Snack Index​ found that three out of five guests said that an enticing menu will determine which party they plan to attend, particularly for Millennials and Gen Z (77%) and parents (74%); while potlucks tend to rank high among celebrations, with 67% of consumers preferring the collaborative format.

Similar to major holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, meal planning is important to Super Bowl weekend, with 70% of experienced hosts planning a menu for their guests, and more than half (51%) planning at least a week in advance.

When it comes to watching the game, almost half of Americans (46%) prefer food over friends, citing that they would rather watch the game with delicious food, which include traditional dips like salsa (27%), French onion (21%) and queso (20%); and barbecue—which will be especially popular in Kansas City and for Kansas City Chief fans, which 63% saying they prefer it over San Francisco’s fish tacos (37%).

Culinary creativity also ranks high among Americans, with 80% intending to combine multiple snacks and food for the ‘perfect bite’ as an ‘art form,’ the report stated.

With snacks and meals consumed interchangeably during the off-season, Americans plan to consume their favorite snacks during the weekend, with a 35% increase of snack integration into meals as almost half (44%) relying on snacks because they are too busy to cook, highlighting an opportunity for brands to focus on easy and convenient meals and snacks.



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