PLANO, Texas — Super Bowl celebrations will look different this year because of the ongoing global pandemic, but snacks will continue to be a welcomed party guest.
According to the latest Frito-Lay U.S. Snack Index, more than 40 percent of Americans are snacking more than they did last year as the Super Bowl LV broadcast is still expected to be the most-watched event of the year. With eight in 10 Americans planning to tune in, Frito-Lay estimates even more snacking — a 21-percent increase from Super Bowl LIV — during this year's game.
Retail sales data shows Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest snacking days of the year, but snack consumption has seen a significant uptick since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fifty percent of consumers said they look forward to eating the snacks they love but don't eat every day during the Super Bowl.
"Super Bowl is as much about enjoying a fun, shared national moment with our favorite foods and beverages as it is about the football game," said Mike Del Pozzo, chief customer officer, Frito-Lay North America. "Americans continue to look for familiarity and comfort in their favorite foods as the pandemic has continued, and we expect that trend to remain in the weeks leading up to game day as 80 percent of adults think Super Bowl isn't complete without snacks and dips."
Game day gatherings will also look different this year. According to Frito-Lay insights, nearly half of Americans (45 percent) expect to make changes to Super Bowl plans with the majority (56 percent) planning to stay home and watch the game alone or with people who live in their immediate household.
Viewing parties will also be smaller. Among those who plan to host a Super Bowl party, nearly nine out of 10 say their game day gathering will have 10 people or less and 65 percent plan to gather with less than four people.
Other highlights of the U.S. Snack Index show:
Super Bowl shopping is shifting.
- Americans are stocking up on snacks earlier, with 86 percent planning to shop for Super Bowl during the week leading up to game day. On the other hand, 25 percent of consumers expect to shop just six hours before kickoff.
- Overall, two-thirds of consumers plan on picking up their game day snacks from the grocery store. However, 10 percent of people plan to shop online for delivery.
Americans plan to have "snack staples" at their gatherings, while also incorporating new flavors.
- When it comes to buying snacks overall, 52 percent of Americans want the classic flavors they have known for years.
- For the third year in a row, salsa is the most popular dip to pair with Super Bowl snacks (42 percent), followed by cheese dips and spreads (38 percent), French onion dip (33 percent), and guacamole (32 percent).
- Fifty-two percent of consumers want to try something new and value variety.
Snacking preferences in final cities vary.
- Of the two remaining Super Bowl LV cities, Kansas City (58 percent) is more likely to stick to the classic snacks they have known for years compared to Tampa (47 percent).
- The two cities also prefer a variety of dips, with Kansas City favoring cheese dips and spreads (51 percent) and Tampa opting for salsa (46 percent).
Frito-Lay is an Official Sponsor of Super Bowl LV.
The polling for the latest Frito-Lay U.S. Snack Index was conducted on Jan. 6 among a national sample of 2,201 adults who typically plan or plan to watch the Super Bowl this year.
Plano-based Frito-Lay North America is the $17 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo Inc., which is headquartered in Purchase, N.Y.