Super Bowl Sunday might as well be a holiday in America. It’s the nation’s most-watched television broadcast, with more than 90 million viewers tuning in last year. And when it comes to food and beverage consumption, the big game is second only to Thanksgiving. According to the National Retail Federation, the average viewer will spend $78.92 on food, drinks, apparel, decorations and other purchases for the day.
As the nation’s #1 rewards app with over 13 million monthly active users, Fetch Rewards has unparalleled insight into what folks are buying — our shoppers have snapped well over a billion receipts. We dug into the purchase data from the entire football season to learn more about America’s favorite game-day brands and to make some predictions about what will be on the menu for Super Bowl Sunday.
Beer is by far the most popular alcoholic beverage, and when there’s football on TV, we observed a 2% increase in beer purchasing across the board. The other top game-day alcohol categories were fermented malt beverage (hard seltzer and the like) and wine.
Gen X buys the most beer — on regular days and game days alike — followed by Boomers. Gen Z and Millennials tend to purchase less beer overall and prefer more more seltzers / fermented malt beverages than the older folks. However, the younger folks still enjoy cracking open a brewski on game day — both generational cohorts showed a 3% increase in beer purchasing when there’s football on TV.
And while beer unites sports fans, everyone has their preferred brand. The northwest and mountain regions love Coors Light. Californians prefer Modelo, while Midwesterners prefer Miller Lite and the Sun Belt region goes for Bud Light. The Northeastern states are split, but New York has a clear winner in Corona.
Non-alcoholic beverage preferences stay consistent across game days and non-game days, with a minor increase in share for no-soda beverages on game day.
Looking at the various categories of non-alcoholic beverages, purchasing behavior is similar across age ranges — although Gen Z and Millennials drink less soda than their Gen X and Boomer counterpoints. They also tend to buy more juices and energy drinks.
Another staple game-day category: salty snacks! The classic Lay’s potato chips are the most popular choice in nearly all 50 states, except for Texas, which prefers Cheetos, and North Dakota, which goes for Doritos.
Boomers and members of Gen X tend to purchase more potato chips overall, but on game day we saw an uptick in tortilla chip purchasing (gotta diversify the snack table!). Younger generations are less likely to buy potato chips, and they tend to purchase more tortilla chips and other snacks like cheese curls/puffs and snack mixes.