Super Bowl Sunday: The snacks that are snapping up the sales and the airwaves

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Super Bowl snacks. Pic: ©GettyImages/arinahabich
Super Bowl snacks. Pic: ©GettyImages/arinahabich

Related tags Super bowl Snac International Potato chips Pringles Doritos Mr Peanut Planters

According to Snac International, Americans purchase more than 80 million pounds of savory snacks in the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, which would need more than 1,000 18-wheel trucks to transport. Likewise, it’s a show winner for big food to punt their brands.
Snac 1

The international trade association for the snack industry said snack purchases during the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday continue to soar, with sales rising from more than $370m in 2017 to more than $387m last year.

Not surprisingly, in 2018, the king of the snack sales in that week were potato chips, selling over 55 million units valued at over $119m.

This was followed by tortilla chips ($107m), other salted snacks that did not include nuts ($66m) and dips (£38m).

Snac 2

Dips, however, had the highest growth in 2018, with sales rising 36% compared to the previous week’s sales.

Tortilla chips had the second highest growth, with a 35% increase – which, according to IRI figures, equated to enough 18oz tortilla chip bags to stretch across the US 2.5 times.

Hey! Big spender

These figures make sense, when paired with the knowledge that food and beverage brands are the biggest spenders when it comes to Super Bowl advertising. Well, with the game expected to pull an estimated 100+ million viewers, it would not make good business sense not to capitalize on it.

PepsiCo is always one of the biggest Super Bowl advertisers and this year has enlisted the likes of Maroon 5, Michael Bublé and the Backstreet Boys, among others, to promote its snacks.

Kraft Heinz snapped up Charlie Sheen joking he is nuts in a TV commercial for Planter’s Mr. Peanut and an Alexa-like device attempts to figure out how many Pringles flavor combinations can be stacked.

318,000 Pringle pairings

Pringles has made an Alexa-like smart speaker the central star of its Super Bowl commercial – ‘Sad Device’​ – to promote ‘flavor stacking’.

The ad features two youngsters mixing and matching Pringles chip flavor combinations. One chap asks, “How many Pringles stack combinations are there?” ​to which the smart speaker answers “318,000.”

However, the personal assistant continues to mourn that, with no hands to stack with, no mouth to taste with and no soul to feel with, it will never know the joy of tasting any of them.

Thankfully, its rant about its existential dread is interrupted with a demand to play the disco hit ‘Funkytown’ by Lipps Inc.

Am I nuts?

Kraft Heinz has unveiled its Super Bowl contribution starring Mr. Peanut, along with baseball player Alex Rodriguez and actor Charlie Sheen.

In the high-energy ad – Charlie Sheen Planters Super Bowl 53 Big Game LIII Commercial 2019​ – Mr. Peanut goes on a wild ride in the Planters Nutmobile to stop Rodriguez from snacking on boring chips. In crunch time, he slips in a tin of Planters Deluxe Mixed Nuts under Rodriguez hand.

A cameo appearance by Sheen has him quipping “And some people think I’m nuts.”

Deez Nuts are not nuts

Philadelphia-based deli brand Dietz & Watson has also unveiled its 30-second spot – Craig Robinson Likes Dietz Nuts​ – promoting its new product, which it calls the ‘first-ever meat nut’.

Dietz Nuts – which are actually savory sausage bites – was created specifically for the Super Bowl, and the ad stars comedian Craig Robinson, best known for the US TV show ‘The Office.’

The ad features Robinson having an innuendo-filled conversation with his brother about the new snack, inspired by the popular internet meme ‘Deez Nuts’, which originated from the 1992 Dr. Dre album ‘The Chronic’, and more recently as a satirical independent candidate in the 2016 presidential election.

‘Dirty palm oil problem’

Whether the aim is to capitalize on the biggest sports day in America or just get a message across, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.

In its own parody ad, consumer watchdog SumOfUs has launched ‘Exclusive: Making of Doritos 2019 Super Bowl Ad’​ in which it claims Doritos ‘still’ has a ‘dirty palm oil problem’ and calls on the brand’s maker PepsiCo to sever ties with Indofood.

The ad features a spoof behind-the-scenes look at a creative agency pitch for the Doritos 2019 Super Bowl commercial. The agency is trying to help shift public perception, as Doritos has been getting a lot of heat over palm oil, but the meeting goes off the rails when the Doritos exec pushes for a bolder creative direction.

In October, this site reported that PepsiCo had severed ties with Indonesia’s largest palm oil supplier​ in the wake of alleged human rights abuses.

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