Food & Beverage Perspectives
Will Super Bowl Snacks Buck Better-For-You Trend?

Will Healthier Snacks Score Big During Super Bowl 50?

<p>Snacks have been one of the hottest trending segments of the food and beverage industry for a couple of years now. In fact, nearly 94 percent of Americans snack at least once a day, and 50 percent of adults snack two to three times per day. But U.S. consumers also have gravitated toward better-for-you options with 33 percent choosing healthier snack foods in 2015 compared to 2014. So will this year Super Bowl snacks stay on the healthy road? Market data is mixed.</p>

Snacks have been one of the hottest trending segments of the food and beverage industry for a couple of years now. In fact, nearly 94 percent of Americans snack at least once a day, and 50 percent of adults snack two to three times per day. But U.S. consumers also have gravitated toward better-for-you options with 33 percent choosing healthier snack foods in 2015 compared to 2014. So will this year Super Bowl snacks stay on the healthy road? Market data is mixed.

IRI Worldwide data detailing the sales lift of various food, beverage and consumer product categories that are most impacted by pre-game preparations and shopping sprees for the Super Bowl found dips, chips and beer will be the big winners.

Dips and spreads experienced the most dramatic sales lift the week prior to the Super Bowl, as shelf-stable dips/dip mixes grew more than 45 percent, refrigerated dip sales increased 48 percent and refrigerated spreads were up 13 percent versus the week prior. In total, $54.8 million was spent on dips and spreads during the week leading up to last year’s Super Bowl.

Beer is the No. 1 product category by sales dollars, generating $583 million in sales the week prior to the NFL’s flagship event. It far outpaced liquor, which drove sales of $109 million.

Salty snacks reign supreme. With more than 196 million units sold, salty snacks constitute the leading category by units, generating $438 million in sales.

With $277 million in sales, natural cheese accounts for the majority of cheese sales during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Still, cream cheese and processed cheese reap the biggest sales boost from the big game. Last year, these categories saw sales spikes of 30 percent and 19 percent, respectively, as a result of pre-game preparations. In comparison, natural cheese sales grew 10 percent.

According to the National Chicken Council’s 2016 Wing Report, 1.3 billion wings will be eaten during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl 50. That number is up 3 percent, or 37.5 million wings, from last year’s championship game.

But the news isn’t all that bad for healthy snacks. According to a new national survey by dunnhumby, 62 percent of all Americans and 67 percent of Millennial men and 59 percent of Millennial women plan to serve healthier food options this Super Bowl—a welcome initiative considering the average American consumes about 2,400 calories on Super Bowl Sunday.

Despite Americans’ optimistic efforts of serving healthier food options, data shows that snacking and dining during will remain as delicious as ever as dips dominate America’s taste buds. Overall, Americans ranked salsa, buffalo chicken and guacamole as their go-to dips and this ranking was mirrored by male respondents as well. Women on the other hand prefer guacamole, salsa and spinach/spinach and artichoke dips over all other options. When deciding on other menu must-haves, chips and salsa, pizza and wings reign as the top three choices for Americans.

Of course all of those delectable snacks  need to be washed down and 70 percent of Americans who plan to serve or drink alcohol plan to sip on domestic beer—with 74 percent of male Millennials opting for beer like Bud Lite instead of the stereotypical craft beer options of the stereotypical Hipster Millennial. While the majority of women will drink domestic beer, 42 percent will go for a glass of wine and another 38 percent will choose hard liquor.

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