Expect Spicy Snacks and Nostalgia to Take Center Stage during Super Bowl LVI.
Snacks are Back! Survey finds people are snacking even more frequently than 2021 – why? – because snacking brings them joy.
Dips also moving onto the plate, with 9 out of 10 Americans planning to dip, when only 7 out of 10 did in 2021.
When the coin flips in Super Bowl LVI, snacks will be center stage and creating smiles more than ever in gatherings of friends and family nationwide. The fifth-annual Frito-Lay Snack Index found almost all (94%) adults agree snacks have the ability to create enjoyable moments.
“The Super Bowl is not just about football, it’s about gathering to make happy memories with friends and family,” said Mike Del Pozzo, SVP Sales & Chief Customer Officer, PepsiCo Foods North America. “This year, the snack table will feature Cheetos Flamin’ Hot, Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili, and Doritos Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch because more than eight out of 10 Americans will be enjoying spicy snacks.”
This year’s Frito-Lay’s U.S. Snack Index1 revealed 84% of adults are looking forward to commercials that have a nostalgic feel to them. Thankfully, Lay’s delivers a journey down memory lane with a new Super Bowl campaign that will remind people to Stay Golden™ throughout life’s moments. America’s favorite potato chip is returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in 17 years with an in-game spot filled with good times and even some hilarious mishaps sure to make people smile.
“In America, football, snack foods, and fun go together,” said Elizabeth Avery, president, and CEO of SNAC International, the only snack-centric trade association. “Regardless of where you’re watching the big game this year, we know the bowl of snacks will be at the center of your Super Bowl huddle.”
According to recently released data commissioned by SNAC International, there has been an increase in total snack food sales, which jumped during Super Bowl Week 2021 to 12.5% or $487 million.
The Snack Index also found that preferences, especially those of Gen Z (79%) and Millennials (83%), lean towards spicy snacks as their go-to during Super Bowl Sunday, making this a special occasion to branch out from their regular choices and experiment with new flavors. To satisfy our consumers, for the first time, Frito-Lay’s Flamin’ Hot® brand will have its own commercial featuring both Doritos® and Cheetos®, showing fans what the world would look like with a little more heat with “Unleash Your Flamin’ Hot.
Potato chips are the most popular snack as 52% of consumers chose this classic as one of their top three favorite snacks. This popularity has led to high demand, with 71% of consumers planning to have potato chips available at their Super Bowl parties.
Overall, the food and beverage commercials are most beloved by two of three (60%) Americans, with fans’ next favorite being those with animals (18%) and technology (10%). However, Super Bowl commercials will not just be watched during the game – 31% of adults plan to watch the Super Bowl commercials via social media, with all audiences most excited to watch funny (94%) and uplifting (88%) commercials that will create shareable and happy moments.
Additional market trends and U.S. Snack Index highlights show:
Still love classic flavors
- 27% of respondents said they are most looking forward to trying snacks they’ve never had before when snacking this Super Bowl. However, despite a trend towards spicier snacks, older generations still prefer buying classic flavors they have known for years, including 62% of Baby Boomers and 46% of Gen X compared to 32% of Gen Z and 30% of Millennials
Keepin’ it casual and fun for Super Bowl Sunday
- Snacks are a more casual and relaxed part of Super Bowl Day as almost half (49%) plan to eat them by sharing right out of the bag.
- Compared to 2021, more plan to host a Super Bowl gathering this year (17% vs. 7%)
- A majority of adults (72%) plan to pick up their Super Bowl snacks at the grocery store, up 5% year over year, compared to 8% who will order them online for delivery and another 7% planning to grab theirs at a convenience store
- When buying snacks for the Super Bowl this year, 91% are looking for snacks that are tried and true favorites that are also easy to find in stores
- Consumers also express a preference for snacks that are low-priced (83%), and when it comes to sharing, 72% of adults prefer a larger, family-size for sharing rather than a variety pack of single-serve snacks. Despite this, nearly half (49%) plan to eat snacks right out of the bag
Snacking will look different in Cincinnati and Los Angeles, but both will be health-conscious this Super Bowl.
- Cincinnati Super Bowl fans tend to shy away from choosing spicy snacks over non-spicy snacks (46%), while the majority of L.A. fans (54%) love them.
- Fans in Los Angeles love to pair their Super Bowl snacks with guacamole (71%) and salsa (62%); those in Cincinnati prefer salsa (55%) and buffalo chicken dip (46%), but while snack choices may look different a majority in both Cincinnati (51%) and Los Angeles (65%) will pay more attention to the contents and ingredients of snacks this game day
- While both cities share potato chips as their favorite snacks (60% Cincinnati vs 47% L.A.), Los Angelinos expressed a unique love for cookies (37% L.A. vs. 29% Cincinnati)
- Cincinnati residents are more likely to be inspired to try new snacks by friends or family (29% Cincinnati vs. 23% L.A.) while those in Los Angeles are more likely to be persuaded by store displays (32% L.A. vs 21% Cincinnati)
- Cincinnati boasts a higher number of football fans with 45% saying they are avid football fans, compared to 34% of Los Angelinos who say the same
This poll was conducted between January 21-January 22, 2022 among a national sample of 2210 Adults that plan to watch the Super Bowl this year. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.