Chicken Wings and the Super Bowl: The food we pay attention to during the ‘Big Game’

Could the Super Bowl be a place where online retailers can make greater inroads? Americans’ consumption stats around the ‘big game’ are so large as to be comical. For example, the National Chicken Council (yes you heard that right) estimates that 1.33BN chicken wings will be consumed over Super Bowl weekend. That’s 4.16 wings per person IF you include infants and the elderly. Not only that but our wing consumption has been steadily increasing from 2% in 2015 to a 6% increase over 2016.

But where are they buying their wings? From our data it appears to be largely in-store/restaurant/bar.

We calculated the number of our users who viewed content related to typical Super Bowl foods in the weekends leading up to the Super Bowl, and compared it to their browsing habits over this last weekend. Although we found a 2.5% increase in shopping for and reading about “dip” and a 1.6% increase in the search for “pizza”. But when it came to “wings” our user base actually viewed 1.2% less related content on the weekend of Super Bowl than in prior weekends. Interest in “beer”, “chilli’, and “chips” also remained roughly the same.

None of these numbers represent a staggering difference, but a half percent increase in online orders for some retailers could represent large revenue growth.

What adds color this story are delivery based services, also telling the story that the Super Bowl is an event where we get together and cook or buy prepared foods from in-store. The number of online orders from sites like Seamless, GrubHub and Delivery.com were lower this past weekend.

3.2% fewer users used the delivery sites on Super Bowl weekend than on previous weekends.

The lesson in all of this is that there’s an opportunity to capture more online attention especially of women when it comes to Superbowl foods online. At least 10% of our user base is seeking to purchase food online that is Super Bowl related. Engaging this type of user with content, recipes and offers ahead of Super Bowl weekend may help increase sales online during this food-oriented ‘holiday.’ (I know its not really a holiday but you get my point.)