The Snacktime Report: Here for the Snacks￼
The Big Game is just around the corner and whether you’re looking forward to the football, watch parties, commercials, or the halftime show, chances are you’ll be snacking on some delicious bites. According to a recent Instacart survey conducted online by The Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults, 70% of Americans plan to watch the Big Game this year with football (65%) and snacks (60%) topping the list for what game day viewers favor the most in terms of the festivities. Because food plays a major role in the fun, we used Instacart purchase and survey data to reveal America’s top-scoring game day snacks, which include chips, wings, dips, and beer. Let’s kick it off…
All that and a bag of chips
Chips dominate when it comes to game day snacking. According to our survey, nearly all Americans who plan to watch the Big Game (99%) eat chips while they’re watching, and Instacart grocery data backs this up with 1 in 3 customers making chip purchases leading up to last year’s event. When it comes to breaking down chip preferences, Americans are largely in favor of classic chips and original flavors with game-day viewers preferring tortilla chips (76%) and potato chips (70%) over other bolder flavors such as nacho (44%), BBQ (43%), sour cream and onion (38%), hot and spicy (33%), and more.
Although tortilla chips lead the Top 10 chips list for game day snacking, there’s one MVP that outperforms all others: Tostitos Scoops Tortilla Chips. In fact, during the week leading up to the Big Game last year, Instacart sold 66,498 pounds of Tostitos Scoops Tortilla Chips.
“There’s a clear Big Game chip champion and it’s Tostitos Scoops Tortilla Chips. These dip-worthy chips grow by more than 60% week over week leading up to the Big Game and are Instacart’s #1 selling chip during that time. It’s likely this chip takes the top spot for football watch parties because of its prime design for maximum dip scooping when you’re elbow to elbow with friends and family on a couch.” – Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s Trends Expert
Just wing it
Chicken wings and football are a winning combination, and we have the proof. Last year, the number of orders containing chicken wings doubled on Instacart’s platform during the week leading up to game day with 1 in 25 customers purchasing chicken wings.
What’s more – according to our survey – of those who plan to watch the Big Game were to eat wings during the Big Game,
- They would prefer fried (33%) over baked (23%), with 39% preferring a mix of both
- They would choose drumsticks (44%) over flats (26%)
- They would go for sauced (28%) over seasoned (20%), with 48% preferring a mix of both
And for the boneless chicken wing fans out there, we hate to disappoint, but 65% of those who plan to watch the Big Game strongly or somewhat agree that boneless chicken wings are glorified chicken nuggets.
To be expected, there are some states who have a stronger affinity for the popular finger food. Maryland comes out on top with 1 out of 17 carts or 6% of carts containing chicken wings, which is 60% higher compared to its yearly average, followed by other states primarily located in the Northeast and South. Here’s a closer look at who loads up on wings the most and least:
Let’s take a dip
What’s a chip or a wing without a complementing dip? Of the 99% of Americans who plan to eat chips while watching the Big Game, the majority (66%) always or often do so with dips or sauces. Salsa (64%), queso (50%), and guacamole (47%) top the list for favorite dips or sauces to eat during the Big Game — making it even more evident why tortilla chips are so popular.
Cue the controversy: which wing dip reigns supreme?! Our survey uncovered that 1 in 3 Americans who plan to watch the Big Game (31%) believe chicken wings should be flaming or spicy hot, which explains why a cool dressing is a necessary accoutrement for many. Ranch Dressing (51%) tops the list of sauces Big Game watchers would prefer to dip their wings in, however, there are many noteworthy regional differences for wing dipping.
A Nation Divided Over Wing Sauce
Those in the South and West are more likely than those in the Northeast to say they would prefer Ranch Dressing to dip their wings (55% and 54% vs. 44%), while those in the Northeast are more likely than any other region to say they would prefer to dip their wings in Blue Cheese Dressing (44% vs. 35% in the South, 32% in the Midwest and 31% in the West).
Dips Across America
The regional differences don’t stop there. When looking at the top growing dips in each state based on Instacart purchase data, Guacamole rose to the top in 17 states, primarily in the West and Midwest. Cheese Dips and Salsa were #1 in 9 and 10 states respectively, and predictably, Blue Cheese is clustered in the Northeast stretching a bit into the South. Spinach Artichoke Dip is all over the board, and although Ranch Dressing is the most popular sauce for dipping wings, it doesn’t take the lead when it comes to the larger dipping category.
Here for the beer
Naturally, there needs to be something that washes down all of the salty snack goodness. When looking at the top 10 alcohol categories, varying types of beer take 8 out of the top 10 spots, with hard seltzers and canned cocktails also breaking through.
Top Alcohol Categories:
- Light Lager
- Mexican Style Lagers
- Hard Seltzers
- India Pale Ale
- Beer Variety Packs
- American Style Lager
- Pale Ale
- Pale Lager
- Wheat Ale
- Canned Cocktails
When it comes to our favorite alcohol brands and varieties to enjoy while watching the game, here’s the brew-y breakdown with 9 of the top 10 beverages representing on behalf of beer:
- The biggest sins. Running out of alcohol or food (52%) tops the list for biggest “Big Game snack sins” among those who plan to watch the Big Game, followed by not having enough food variety (37%), and replacing meat staples with vegetarian versions like cauliflower wings in lieu of chicken wings (35%).
- Not today, veggies. The Big Game is a day for indulgence, which is perhaps why hummus (33%) tops the list of worst snacks among those who plan to watch the Big Game, followed by veggie trays at 23%.
- Filling the cart. Of those who plan to make a side dish for the Big Game, 74% plan to shop for the ingredients one week before or less, including 4% planning to shop day-of.
- Where to watch. Among those who plan to tune into the game on February 13, more than 2 in 5 (43%) plan to host or attend a watch party, while 57% plan to watch at home.
- What a (pizza) pie! In the week leading up to the Big Game, Instacart sells enough frozen pizza to create one massive pizza pie with a diameter the size of three football fields.
Screaming snack deals
Since we’re all really just here for the snacks, Instacart wants to help you stock up and save big. Throughout the week leading up to the Big Game, Instacart is dropping limited-time game day screaming deals, exclusively available through the Instacart app. From February 8 – 12, you can get up to 95% off the following select items:
- February 8: Hidden Valley Ranch
- February 9: PopCorners Sharing Size
- February 10: Doritos
- February 11: Frito-Lay Dips & Salsa
- February 12: Pepsi 2 Liter
To access these deals and redeem your favorite products, simply visit the Game Day Snacks Hub within the Instacart app.
Snacking fans will be sharing their game day party plans on TikTok and we’re excited to see what everyone will be cooking up. We’ve partnered with some of TikTok’s favorite foodie and music creators to help get us in the game day spirit. Check out the following creators and Duet, Stitch or simply re-use their audio with #hereforthesnacks!
- Noah Beck, Gen-Z Super Star – @noahbeck
- Tabitha Brown, Actress, Author and Vegan Foodie – @iamtabithabrown
- Enola Bedard, Influencer and TikTok Star – @enola.bedard
- Kelz Wright, Content Creator – @kelz
- Rod, Content Creator – @rod
- Air Fryer Guy, Jake Grigg (aka Air Fryer Guy) – @airfryerguy
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Instacart from January 14-19, 2022, among 2,089 adults ages 18+, among whom 1,408 plan to watch the Big Game this year. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact [email protected].
Adjusting for Growth:
We adjust Instacart growth percentages by the overall growth of total deliveries. Doing so removes the influence of our platform growth so we can focus on the change in consumer behavior.
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