Super Bowl snacking trends: Frito Lay projects 21% increase in snacking

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages / 500
©GettyImages / 500

Related tags Frito Lay Snacks Super bowl

While always an important feature of Super Bowl viewing, Frito Lay's latest U.S. Snack Index poll estimates a 21% increase in snacking among consumers compared to last year's Super Bowl LIV game.

"Retail sales data shows Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest snacking days of the year, but snack consumption has seen a significant uptick since the onset of the pandemic,"​ said Frito Lay.

The snacking giant's poll was conducted on Jan. 6, 2021 among a national sample of 2,201 adults who typically watch or plan to watch the Super Bowl. 

This year, 40% of Americans say they are snacking more than they did last year in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl weekend on Sunday, Jan. 7 with 50% of consumers saying that they look forward to eating snacks during the most-watched event of the year in the US (which pulled in more than 100 million viewers tuning in last year, according to Nielsen household ratings measurement). 

In terms of when consumers are stocking up on snacks, 86% of those polled plan to shop for the Super Bowl during the week leading up to the game, and 25% say expect to shop six hours before kickoff.

Two-thirds of consumers plan on picking up their game day snacks from the grocery store while 10% of people plan to shop online for delivery.

In preparation to meet increased snacking demand, Frito Lay said it is producing more than 70 million pounds of snacking in the week leading up to the game. 

Cheetos and Doritos take center stage 

Frito Lay is using the Super Bowl as an opportunity to promote a few of its newest snacking innovations including Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix​ and 'new' Doritos 3D Crunch​ backed by national advertising campaigns. 


Tie breaker: Classic vs. new snacks

Over half (52%) of poll respondents say they want to snack on classic flavors during Super Bowl, and 68% of adults agree that chips and dip are the Super Bowl snacking must-have.

However, 52% of those surveyed also said they want to try something new and value variety in their snack spread on Super Bowl Sunday. 

For the third year in a row, salsa is the most popular dip to pair with Super Bowl snacks (42%), followed by cheese dips and spreads (38%), French onion dip (33%), and guacamole (32%).

"Americans continue to look for familiarity and comfort in their favorite foods as the pandemic has continued, and we expect that trend to remain in the weeks leading up to game day as 80% of adults think Super Bowl isn't complete without snacks and dips,"​ said Mike Del Pozzo, chief customer officer, Frito-Lay North America.

Smaller gatherings

Similar to the 2020 holiday season, Americans are taking part in Super Bowl watching on a smaller, close-to-home scale this year. 

According to Frito-Lay insights, 45% of Americans expect to make changes to Super Bowl plans with more than half (56%) planning to stay home and watch the game alone or with people who live in their immediate household.

Viewing parties will also be smaller – among those planning to host a Super Bowl party, nearly nine out of 10 say their Super Bowl gathering will have 10 people or less and 65% plan to gather with less than four people.

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