Frito-Lay's new Super Bowl snack index helps CPG companies prep their game plans
- Super Bowl LIII marks the introduction of Frito-Lay’s first U.S. Snack Index, a poll that predicts what customers are planning to munch on during this year's big game. Nine in 10 viewers plan to have a snack during the game and 80% will have potato or tortilla chips, according to a press release.
- Spicy and cheesy flavors are a favorite with Generation Z and millennials, while all groups polled agreed salsa is the number one dip for game-day snackers. No matter what they’re eating, more than one-third of consumers plan to share photos of it on social media.
- "Super Bowl Sunday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year for snacks. It's different than other holidays we see throughout the year as consumers are most likely to be enjoying snacks specifically at home, which can mean their choices can vary from other occasions," Steven Williams, senior vice president of sales and chief commercial officer of Frito-Lay North America, said in a statement.
Knowing the importance of snacking during the Super Bowl — arguably, the party is just as important as the game — Frito-Lay decided to take advantage of the captive hungry crowd and understand what everyone likes to eat in order to make sure supermarkets can stock their shelves appropriately.
This year's Super Bowl is Feb. 3 in Atlanta, and it’s a big event for CPG companies every year. The championship is one of the most watched U.S. television broadcasts and last year drew more than 103 million viewers to their screens — to sit and snack. It's not surprising that Frito-Lay conducted this survey, given that PepsiCo is its parent company and the sponsor of this year’s half time show.
The poll breaks snack preferences down by city, which may be useful to Frito-Lay as it plans distribution and considers any potential M&A opportunities. This information could also be useful to other CPG companies that are looking for snacking preference data by region as they expand into new territories or alter their product mixes on supermarket shelves. The poll found that different cities have different snacking preferences. Football fans in Chicago picked popcorn as their top choice, while cities like Dallas, Miami, New York City, Seattle and Washington, D.C. preferred potato chips. Boston, Houston and Atlanta chose tortilla chips.
This poll is the first of its kind among CPG companies to be released to the public. But other institutions have been curious about consumer snacking trends during the Super Bowl, including local news and national media outlets such as CBS News and Bon Appétit. And the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics releases an annual survey on consumer spending during the Super Bowl.
Other surveys have found that snacks are not the only food on the table on Super Bowl Sunday. In fact, chicken wings and pizza often stack up as some of the most popular items to eat. The National Chicken Council estimates a record 1.38 billion wings will be consumed Super Bowl weekend — 27 million more than in 2018.
Still, as a snacking company, Frito-Lay is mainly interested in the types of food it produces. And with a planned annual release of the poll, Frito-Lay may keep itself ahead of trends for future Super Bowls and other snack-heavy holidays.