How to Win on Game Day

© 2016 T. Marzetti Company. All rights reserved.

Bring us your richest, spiciest, most craveable foods—and keep them coming. That’s consumers’ attitude about the eating they’ll be doing while gathered around the television—and the buffet table—on February 5.

What foods are likely to be most popular this year? Research conducted by fitness tracker MyFitnessPal shows that, compared to an average day, Super Bowl-watching Americans are likely to consume:

327% more chicken wings
200% more tortilla chips
90% more beer
72% more potato chips
67% more pizza

The sheer quantity of food consumed during the game has traditionally given it the distinction of being the number two food-related holiday in the United States. But it might even be moving up to eclipse Thanksgiving, according to Darren Tristano, president, Technomic, research and consulting firm servicing the food and foodservice industry. “It’s a huge eating occasion for the American consumer,” he says.

Share and share alike
What formats of food are most popular? Tristano says consumers want the bite-by-bite variety offered by samplers and shareables. “Finger-friendly and dippable foods will always be popular on this day,” he says. And while chicken wings are a perennial favorite, their less-expensive cousin, chicken tenders, may start leading the pack. “Chicken wings have been successful because their bones allow them to retain heat, but with the rising cost of wings, I predict that boneless tenders might see a spike in consumption this year.”

Small and angry
If you’re wondering what to add to your catering or take-out menu for Game Day, Tristano suggests thinking small and thinking angry. First, small: “Even if you don’t have a pizza or wing offering, you can still offer appealing options by offering miniaturized, high-flavor versions of items like sliders, hot dogs, tacos, tostados and burritos,” he says. Next, angry: Consider spicing things up – not just a little bit, but a lot. “The ‘angry’ trend, which began with the ‘Angry Whopper,’ describes foods that are extreme in flavor and highly spicy, and consumers are responding positively both to the term and the offerings,” he says.

Finally, he reminds operators to keep in mind those vital last feet from your operation to consumers’ plates. “If you’re offering catering or delivery, make sure consumers know they’ll be getting right-temp, tasty treats that will give them variety and value.”

Marzetti® tip
All those dippable delights will taste even better when paired with Marzetti dressings and sauces. Choose from Avocado Ranch, Blue Cheese, Chipotle Ranch, Sriracha Bourbon and more.

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