The Super Bowl is such a big game in so many ways. Whether one thinks in terms of the NFL as a business itself, advertising revenue, merchandising revenue, tourist money flowing into the hosting city, etc, the implications of sixty minutes of playing time between two football teams on one field represents a massive and very profitable undertaking. The food industry is a key part of this “big game” machine. This past year the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association gave us in the food industry a lot to chew on when they reported that an estimated $10.1 billion dollars would be spent by consumers on “game-related merchandise, apparel and snacks” on last year’s Super Bowl! As it turns to Super Bowl season this year, let’s take a moment to look at the economic realities of the big game.
The Times Union reported that snack foods are an obvious pick for parties and gatherings: “Americans double their consumption of snack foods on Super Bowl Sunday, downing more than 33 million pounds of chips, pretzels, nuts and other treats.” Other favorites include chicken wings, pizzas, and sub sandwiches. The National Chicken Council estimated that 1.25 billion chicken wings were consumed by Americans during the 2010 Super Bowl weekend alone. As the next example will highlight, although the game is great for the snack and meat industries, it can also be a boon for produce.
Let’s dip into perhaps one of the most surprising team performances in Super Bowl food consumption: avocados. The Packer reports that “more than 71 million pounds of avocados are expected to be consumed in the U.S. in the runup to and during the Super Bowl” this year. In 2006 alone, a reported estimated 49.5 million pounds of avocados consumed during Super Bowl festivities equaled out to a Super Bowl football field covered 11.8 feet deep in guacamole. It looks like our national guacamole lake only has grown deeper with the passing years. Super Bowl Sunday along with Cinco de Mayo are peak days for American consumption of the fruit and are key target benchmarks of the Avocado industry’s year.
The impact of “any given Sunday,” including the Sunday of football Sundays, has created de facto American holidays throughout the NFL season. At each gathering, with each TV tuned into the game, the food industry is generally counted as a pretty popular guest. From lakes of guacamole to mountains of wings, the food industry has come to count on a win each year, no matter who is playing.