Snacking Is King on Super Bowl Sunday

Spicy snacks are the go-to during Super Bowl Sunday for millennials and Gen Z.

February 09, 2022

Super Bowl Snacks

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Last year, total snack food sales jumped 12.5% to $487 million during Super Bowl Week 2021, according to new data from IRI, while Frito-Lay’s U.S. Snack Index shows that spicy snacks are in high demand, with 79% of Gen Z and 83% of millennials preferring spicy snacks, compared to 51% of Gen X and 38% of Baby Boomers.

Looking at the IRI data from Super Bowl week 2021 to the prior week, tortilla chips were up 26.5%; potato chips were up 12.2%; pretzels: +9.2%; refrigerated dips: +33.3% and pork rinds were up 7.6%. Frito-Lay’s data concurred, with 52% of consumers choosing potato chips as one of their top three favorite snacks, and 71% of consumers plan to offer potato chips at their Super Bowl parties. Also, Frito-Lay found that nine out of 10 Americans plan to eat dips this year, compared to seven out of 10 in 2021.

Older generations still prefer buying familiar, classic flavors. Sixty-two pecent of Baby Boomers and 46% of Gen X want to buy the brands they know, compared to 32% of Gen Z and 30% of millennials. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they are most looking forward to trying snacks they've never had before this Super Bowl.

“The Super Bowl is not just about football, it's about gathering to make happy memories with friends and family,” said Mike Del Pozzo, senior vice president, sales, and chief customer officer, PepsiCo Foods North America. “This year, the snack table will feature Cheetos Flamin' Hot, Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili and Doritos Flamin' Hot Cool Ranch because more than eight out of 10 Americans will be enjoying spicy snacks.”

When buying snacks for the Super Bowl this year, 91% are looking for snack favorites that are also easy to find in stores, says Frito Lay. A majority of adults (72%) plan to pick up their Super Bowl snacks at the grocery store, up 5% year over year, compared to 8% who will order them online for delivery and another 7% planning to grab theirs at a convenience store.

Consumers also expressed a preference for snacks that are low-priced (83%), and when it comes to sharing, 72% of adults prefer a larger, family-size rather than a variety pack of single-serve snacks. Despite this, nearly half (49%) plan to eat snacks right out of the bag.

Pizza is also synonymous with Super Bowl Sunday, and 7-Eleven announced it will give out free pizza when customers order through the company’s 7NOW delivery app. Customers will receive a large meat, cheese or pepperoni pizza for free when placing an order in the app. The offer is valid for delivery only.

“While other brands offer customers discounts on their pizza, 7-Eleven is taking it one step further by rewarding customers with a free pizza,” said Raj Kapoor, 7-Eleven senior vice president of fresh food and proprietary beverages. “No matter which team you are cheering for, nothing brings people together like a mouthwatering pizza. Throw in a case of beer or seltzer, pints of 7-Select ice cream, and a bag of chips to your 7NOW cart and you'll be set with gameday essentials!”

A recent Mondelēz International report found that mindfulness and well-being considerations are increasingly important in snacking, and that consumers prefer snacking as a regular eating behavior over traditional mealtime for the third consecutive year (64% in 2021, up 5% since inaugural findings reported in 2019). This trending preference for snacking spikes among younger generations, with 75% of Gen Z replacing at least one meal each day with a snack.