NA Drinks & Wings Win Super Bowl Sunday

Wings or pizza? Guac or salsa? The game on the gridiron or the high-production spectacle of the halftime show?

Philadelphia Eagles or Kansas City Chiefs?

Every year, consumers are offered endless options on Super Bowl Sunday for how they want to approach the game, the event, and the food on their table (and soon in their bellies). One of the largest media and sporting events of the year is a prime opportunity for brands to re-engage, re-invent, and certainly re-market themselves to one of the most reliably captive audiences for a precious few hours (at $7 million for 30 seconds this year). Coupled with historic ads (“wazzzzzzzzup”), unintentionally revealing showstoppers (remember the Janet Jackson / Justin Timberlake pseudo-coordinated nip slip?), and impossible comebacks (Tom Brady down 3-28 and wins in 2017), Super Bowl Sunday is a smorgasbord of culture, cuisine, sport, spectacle, and sales year after year.

For most of us, it is the food and friends that draws us together – not the game – and the promise of a day rife with laughter, games, salty snacks and piping hot food. And in today’s market, the broadcast alone isn’t the only option for national and private brands to take advantage of the hype, especially as it relates to snacking.

Go Big or Go Home

“Private brands have expanded their marketing and promotional strategies to include multi-tactical omnichannel marketing that rise to the occasion,” said Nicole Simonds, senior manager of marketing and communications at Daymon, in written commentary to The Food Institute.

“The Super Bowl is an opportunity for private brands to continue getting in on the action, shift market share, influence purchasing behaviors, and drive consumer loyalty…as private brands span across most retail departments, they are in the unique position to connect offerings into larger cross-category solutions for consumers, including within Fresh departments.”

It’s easy enough to find examples from the largest and most well-known companies doing this (Anheuser-Busch; Doritos; M&Ms, which has already begun making waves after #ShoeGate and the spokescandy “retirement”), but smaller brands have every opportunity to do the same. Dan Oliver is CEO and founder of Dan-O’s Seasoning, and he offered some perspective on how his company is making good on every available opportunity:

“We lean into recipe creation,” he told The Food Institute.

“We are currently pushing out DANtastic game day recipe ideas throughout all of our channels. This includes, but is not limited to, internal social content creation, influencer marketing, and email marketing. A successful marketing campaign is well thought out and has the omni channel approach. It is important to know your brand and find organic and authentic ways to integrate your strategies. Authenticity is extremely important to us. We are a large social brand and will continue to be in 2023. In 2022 we served 3.4 billion views.”

That’s billion, with a b, roughly one view per every two people on the planet. Oliver says it’s important to know your brand and to find organic and authentic ways to integrate your marketing strategy into the post-holiday push; for many people, Super Bowl Sunday trumps most occasions and helps fill the void between the holidays, the doldrums of winter, and the oncoming yet distant warmth of spring, Memorial Day Weekend, and finally the onset of summer.

Oliver says Dan-O’s has been able to achieve this by organically integrating retailers into both in-house content and influencer content, reaching consumers in multiple ways and on multiple levels to capture attention and drive traffic to social media and ensuing deals and services.

Simonds agrees, noting that “private brands must show up in this space in an authentic way to provide the digital inspiration their consumers are seeking, converting scrolling to purchasing … private brands can ensure Super Bowl marketing success by amplifying their content across channels, engaging with their followers, developing campaigns that promote brand identity with unique hashtags, and encouraging followers to share user-generated content.”

Of course, this kind of work does not happen overnight and often takes a village instead of a single voice. Still, it’s a good lesson not just for Super Bowl Sunday, but every Sunday of every week.


Roughing the Snacker: Inflation 2023

As inflation looms large in the wallets of many Superbowl party hosts and guests, not every Sunday staple is necessarily more expensive this year. A recent report by ecommerce insights and services firm Pattern notes that many staples are quite a bit more pricey than Q1 2022 – guacamole (+5%), mozzarella sticks (+27%), and mayonnaise (a whopping 35%) – but not every sweet and savory snack is sinking. Chicken wings (-13%), nacho cheese (-13%), and salsa (-5%) are down, helping retailers, grocers, and certainly consumers find a balance between value, texture, and taste, no matter what they’re serving. Still, even the plastic and paper crowding the table may be more costly than they’re worth: plasticware is up 5% in the same time frame, along with plastic cups (+12%) and paper plates (+15%).

“One of our all-time fan favorites is back in the game: chicken wings,” said Dr. Michael Swanson, chief agricultural economist at Wells Fargo Agri-Food Institute in a report provided to The Food Institute.

“Poultry producers brought a significant increase in supply, even under the pressure of higher feed costs. Consumers and restaurant operators will find the supply of chickens at the highest level since the beginning of 2019,” he said, noting that a year ago the price per pound for chicken wings was $3.38; this year, that figure has dropped to $2.65.

“It might be old-school, but the wing formation should make an appearance in the game.”

In other words, it’s a good year to bust out the fine kitchenware for cheaper chicken wings, salsa and queso, mini-wieners, and chili cheese (or chili cheese beer – see video above). They’ll certainly help keep your snacks warmer and your guests happier, especially in the upper Atlantic states, where chicken wings reign supreme. Based on Google searches, this year’s top snack is…meatballs?

Photo courtesy Bid on Equipment

In a study conducted by Bid on Equipment , meatballs are the most popular Super Bowl snack this year, followed by guacamole and chips & salsa. Super Bowl LVII will be held in Arizona at State Farm Stadium in Arizona, where chips and salsa rule the day as the most popular snack in the Grand Canyon State. The real shocker from the study, however, is that the most popular alcoholic beverage…isn’t. Roughly 43% of imbibers prefer nonalcoholic drinks this year, edging out beer at 41% and cocktails at 20%. According to the Wells Fargo report, beer blitzed the market and is up 8% from last year, which may help account for the surprise run of NA drinks (wine and spirits are up just 3% and 2%, respectively).

“Super Bowl entertaining is an opportunity for private brands to shine and have fun by highlighting easy and tasty snacking solutions that are not just aspirational but easy to replicate,” Simonds continued.

“The added benefit of private brands is their ability to offer cross-category solutions that also provide cost saving benefits versus their national brand counterparts. These fun and easy solutions can be the key to a successful Super Bowl marketing plan and are truly the tip of the content iceberg.”