Super Bowl food sales scored a touchdown last year, as they traditionally do. According to 2002 figures from ACNielsen, sales for the week of the big game came in second or third, either to Christmas/New Year's or Fourth of July, in many of these Center Store categories: shelf stable dips, potato chips, crackers, pretzels, carbonated beverages, beer, frozen pizza, frozen hors d'oeuvres and snacks, Mexican sauce, tortilla chips, chili seasoning mix and frozen shrimp.
Last year, when the St. Louis Rams were in the championship game, specialty paper items gave that city's Schnuck Markets its biggest kick, said Rick Frede, vice president, grocery. The retailer had a 129% increase over normal, he told SN, because people were probably buying plates in blue and gold -- the Rams' colors. But this is a small category, so the increase looked bigger.
Frede said he is telling store managers to be sure they have displays of the right items and that they don't run out. "It may be the biggest dip holiday of the year," he said.
Last year, soda increased by 11% over the average week, while beer was up 24%, he said. Wine was flat, pointing to the conclusion that this is not a fancy holiday, he said.
But the real big one was canned tomatoes, a 75% increase, because people use the tomatoes with Velveeta cheese to make dip. (Velveeta was up by 73%). Anything Mexican scores, Frede said, including canned beans, which indicates chili was being made all over the region.
"All the snacks were up, and all condiments have a nice kick. Toothpicks were 20% up from normal." Snacks and appetizers in the frozen category were up 141%; pizza snacks were big, as was anything frozen in Mexican flavors, he said.
For Super Bowl, "People don't try to impress," Frede observed. "It's almost like the anti-elegant -- people just enjoying themselves."
This year, even though the Rams aren't in the playoffs, "I think people will still get together to watch the game," Frede joked.