Food on the 50-yard line this Sunday

February 03, 2011

This Sunday is the season's ultimate football game. Will your supermarkets maximize the run-up to home parties nationwide?

Guys may think they rule the house on Super Bowl Sunday - and ladies may be excellent at making them feel that way.

But Super Bowl parties extend well beyond the guys and the game. This is a day when food, friends, family and commercials are at least as important to the main event showing on TVs across the country. While two-thirds (67%) of America expects to watch the game, according to a Quick Poll, it doesn’t mean they’ll be glued to the set. They’ll be part of an often-boisterous setting, which 52% define as a party with two to two dozen or more people present. The majority will include guys and gals, and about one-fourth will include kids.

This profile puts food at the 50-yard line this weekend, in the center of all this action. The room-to-room flow of people of all ages means supermarkets should break out of their 6-foot party hero mentality and market the likes of pastas, salads, sliced vegetables and fruits, water and other healthful foods. The Lempert Report believes this approach would broaden appeals and make stores a more convenient one-stop for party hosts and guests who bring a dish.

Want more proof the game doesn’t rivet everyone? When attending a Super Bowl party, just 14% say they enjoy the actual football game most; 18% like the commercials and half-time show; 20% like the gathering with friends or family; 36% like it all, and about 1 in 10 say none of it.

Food expectations will carry the day on Sunday. The top ten foods people anticipate eating are: dips (58%), chips (57%), veggies or fruit plate (54%), water (50%), chicken wings (47%), beer (44%), deli sandwiches/subs/hoagies (39%), soda (36%), nachos (35%) and pizza (35%). Appealing to the broadest palate will be the winning strategy for Sunday.