- The cost of a Super Bowl party this year will be about 8% to 14% higher than in 2021, thanks mainly to higher meat and soft drink prices, according to an analysis by Wells Fargo economist Michael Swanson. He cited Bureau of Labor Statistics data from January showing 12% to 18% higher prices for grillable proteins, while the price for 2-liter bottles of soft drinks were up 12%, with 12-packs of cans 6% higher.
- Guacamole will also hit Super Bowl fans' pocket books. According to The Washington Post, avocado shipments have not shifted from the five-year average despite growing demand. This in turn has pushed prices 100% of avocados higher than they were a year ago, according to data shared with the publication by RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness.
- Despite higher food costs, consumers are getting more comfortable with hosting or attending a Super Bowl party as the pandemic loosens its grip. The percentage of those planning to host rose 10 points from last year to 17% of consumers, according to Frito-Lay's 2022 Super Bowl Snack Index.
Regardless whether football fans are rooting for the Los Angeles Rams or Cincinnati Bengals, they will all be facing higher prices for the foods and beverages to accompany their game watching.
The national retail price of frozen chicken wings, a staple at many Super Bowl parties, was $2.98 per pound last week, according to the USDA's most recent report. This is down from $3.62 the week prior, but still up 5% from the year prior. Prices for prepared wings trended higher last week, reaching $8.16 per pound for bone-in, up more than 34% from a year ago.
David Anderson, a professor and economist with Texas A&M University, told Axios that chicken processors are likely to begin boosting production to meet demand. "I think we'll see some more chicken production later in the year, and that means some more wing supplies," Anderson told the publication. "One of the things higher prices tell us is that we don't have enough wings supplied relative to our desire for wings, so prices go up. Prices also go up because costs have gone up."
Avocados, which have been on a demand upswing for the past several years, saw record-breaking consumption in 2021 thanks to their health appeal. However, extreme weather in major production regions like California, which was in the grip of a drought, dried up supply and pushed up prices last year. Meanwhile, imports from Mexico have not risen this year, despite hitting a record in 2021, according to The Washington Post.
Higher labor, packaging and transportation costs are pushing up soft drink prices, Wells Fargo noted in its analysis. Last year, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo signaled they would be raising prices on some products due to higher commodity costs and supply chain issues. But other Super Bowl party staples are not seeing the same inflationary pressures. The cost of potato chips rose about 1% in January, according to the Wells Fargo analysis of USDA data. Swanson told AgFunder that a bumper potato crop this year has helped balance escalating labor, packaging and freight costs for the industry.
With the inflation as a backdrop, consumers are looking at value when picking their snacks for this year's Super Bowl watching. According to Frito-Lay's survey, 83% of consumers preferred snacks that were low-priced.
Those who do plan to watch the game with friends and family this year are more likely to be financially well off. Research by Morning Consult found that among those who typically watch the Super Bowl with others, 40% are very likely to host or attend a party with people outside their household, up 14 points from 2021. This share is greater among higher-income consumers (those earning $100,000 or more annually) than those making less than $50,000.