Super Bowl has seafood angle

January 29, 2013

Mix high-ticket fish awareness with the biggest TV event of the year.

There’s something “fishy” about this year’s Super Bowl—and it’s not that the Miami Dolphins aren’t in the big game.

It’s the outstanding seafood legacies of San Francisco and Baltimore, the home cities of the teams competing for football’s Lombardi trophy, as well as New Orleans, the venue of the showpiece event. This coincidence could make the most-watched TV event of the year the hook for jump-starting seafood sales in the rest of 2013, feels The Lempert Report. More than 179 million game watchers are forecast for Sunday, according to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, a division of the National Retail Federation.

Few cities are more credible when it comes to seafood. Angled right, supermarkets and suppliers could gain valuable exposure to please millions of people who want something fresh and new in their Super Bowl party foods. There’s plenty of potential here:  RAMA says 74% of game viewers will buy chicken wings, pizza, chips, soda and more for themselves and/or guests—and that 16.6% of the public will throw a party and 25.2% will attend one.

America’s Super Bowl gluttony is documented every year. Indeed, FOX just forecast that people intend to spend $50 million on snack food for this weekend—the #2 food event in the nation after Thanksgiving. Yet we at TLR wonder if the annual drumbeat of classic man foods needs an uplift—both to add a dimension to fans’ viewing experience, and to satisfy the millions of other party-goers who attend for the companionship, the food, the commercials and the half-time entertainment.

Even incremental roles on the party menu, such as easy-to-serve crab dip or shrimps with cocktail sauce could excite palates and get people thinking about ways to add seafood to upcoming major food holiday celebrations and next year’s game.

Consider that the San Francisco region is home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a major voice for sustainability and intelligent management of marine life. The city is also known for its cioppino (a mix of the fresh seafood catches of the day), crab salad, oysters and clam chowder. Baltimore is famous for its crab cakes and blue crabs. And New Orleans, famous for its crawfish, alligator, gumbo and jambalaya dishes, aims to rebound from the disastrous BP Gulf oil spill of 2010. 

So many signature dishes provide a path for the future growth of fish with peak eating events of the year.