Big Game Boosts Food & Beverage Sales

February 03, 2011

Big Game attendees at Arlington, TX's Cowboys Stadium are expected to exceed the single-day per-capita spending on food and drink

The Food Institute reports that Big Game attendees at Arlington, TX’s Cowboys Stadium are expected to exceed the single-day per-capita spending on food and drink, which currently stands at slightly less than $50, according to Legends Hospitality CEO Mike Rawlings, the company handling concessions and catering at the stadium in The Dallas Morning News.

The event, which has a 45-year history, could eventually translate into total food and beverage sales of $5 million or more – about twice as much as is spent during a regular-season game. In comparison, the 2008 Big Game at the University of Phoenix Stadium produced one-day, per cap food and beverage spending of $45.58, according to the Arizona Sports & Tourism Authority. Attendance at the game was about 71,000, meaning total spending of about $3.2 million – this year, about 100,000 people are expected.

It seems that the majority of those consumers who eat while watching the Big Game are not overly concerned with the healthfulness, or lack thereof, of the food they consume that day. According to a survey from food wholesaler-retailer Supervalu, some 60% of men and 46% of women indicated no guilt about what they eat while watching the game. Top picks for items munched include dips and spreads with 30%, followed by chicken wings (22%), pizza (17%) and burgers, hot dogs and bratwursts with 9%. Last year’s No. 1 Big Game party food item, chips and salty snacks, fell to fourth place with 14%. The amount fans plan to spend on foods and snacks is down compared to last year – half of those planning on holding a party plan to spend $50 or less, versus $100 or less in 2010. Local supermarkets continued to be the most common place fans plan to shop for Big Game food and snacks (80%), followed by discount stores, mass merchants or warehouse clubs (42%), restaurants, caterers, gourmet food stores and delicatessens (9%) and convenience stores (5%).

In terms of pizza, the main contenders are anticipating higher sales of their items compared to last year,. Pizza Hut expects to receive 1.3 million orders for at least two million pies, a gain of over 20% from last year, according to spokesman Chris Fuller. Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter, expects to sells one million pizzas, up from 900,000 pizzas last year, while Domino’s Pizza anticipates 1.2 million pizzas, up from 1.1 million in 2010. Meanwhile, Wingstop expects to sell more than five million wings the day of the Big Game.

For more visit The Food Institute