Consumers: Snacks Play Key Role in Super Bowl Sunday Gatherings

Half of the respondents in Frito-Lay's latest Snack Index say running out of snacks is worse than their team losing the big game.
Three football fans eating snacks and watching a game

PLANO, Texas — With the big game right around the corner, consumers are gearing up for their Super Bowl get-togethers with the right flavors, variety and snack styles.

According to Frito-Lay's latest Snack Index, half of the country believes running out of snacks is worse than their team losing the Super Bowl.

"The Super Bowl is about more than just football, it's about spending time with loved ones and snacking has become a big part of that ritual," said Denise Lefebvre, senior vice president of research and development for PepsiCo Foods. "That's why we invest in understanding what our consumers want, so they can have the right flavors, variety and snack styles to make their spreads a touchdown everyone can celebrate."

Here are highlights of the latest Snack Index:

Recipe for a Perfect Party

  • Stock up early and often: Nearly half of guests (49 percent) note running out of snacks is worse than their team losing the Super Bowl, with three in five guests (62 percent) preferring to make the dash for snack refills during commercials rather than miss any game time.
  • Get the party started: Nearly a quarter of survey respondents say the party should start at lunch or earlier, with millennials (36 percent) and Gen Z (26 percent) most eager for an early kickoff.
  • Add variety: Compared to previous years, three in four consumers (71 percent) say they're more excited to try new flavors or variations of their favorite snacks in 2023.
  • Consider the guests: Millennials (61 percent) are the most eager to try new snack flavors, followed by Gen Z (57 percent) and Gen X (52 percent). On the other hand, baby boomers prefer to stick with tried-and-true classic flavors (38 percent).

Snack Lineup Perfection

  • Though loyal to their favorites, Americans are equally open to new flavor varieties. Half (50 percent) like to try new flavors rather than just keeping to their classics.
  • Gen Z notes a love for flavor "dust," with nearly three in five (59 percent) preferring snacks that leave remnants on their fingers vs. 40 percent overall.
  • A whopping 95 percent of Americans say at least some of their Super Bowl dishes will feature snacks served with the dish or as part of the recipe.

Snacks are Icebreakers

  • Fifty-nine percent of Americans have bonded over snack preferences with people they have struggled to make conversation with, including a partner's friends or family (27 percent), coworkers (24 percent) and even strangers in the checkout line (18 percent).
  • Gen Z (79 percent) and millennials (72 percent) are the most likely consumers to have connected with another person over snacks, followed by Gen X (61 percent) and baby boomers (42 percent).
  • Only three in 10 Americans have gotten into an argument over snack flavors.

Frito-Lay's latest Snack Index surveyed 2,000 consumers ages 18 and older between Jan. 12–17.

Headquartered in Plano, Frito-Lay North America is the $19 billion convenient foods division of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc. Frito-Lay snacks include Lay's and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips and branded dips, Cheetos snacks, Stacy's pita chips, PopCorners pop-corned snack, SunChips multigrain snacks and Fritos corn chips. The company operates 30-plus manufacturing facilities across the United States and Canada, more than 200 distribution centers and services 315,000 retail customers per week through its direct-store-delivery model.