Super Bowl LI will be here before you know it! And while you might not yet know what teams will be going helmet to helmet in Houston on Sunday, February 5th, you do know there’ll be a phenomenal face-off requiring equally phenomenal foods to go along with it. So why not get a jump-start on planning and ordering your menu for the big day? (Not to mention for all of the playoff games leading up to the final event!)
If you’re wondering where to begin when it comes to selecting and serving game day food guaranteed to have your guests cheering for more, we’ve got you covered. Read on for an overview of why the Super Bowl has grown to become one of the biggest, food-centered bashes of the year, along with a roundup of its five main food groups so you can start planning your tastiest game day spread yet.
The Super Bowl and Food: A Perfect Match
Everyone knows that the Super Bowl and food go together like Jerry Rice and touchdowns, but the larger question remains: What makes the two things such a perfect match? Answering that question involves taking a closer look at the event itself — starting with how people watch.
With the cheapest Super Bowl tickets hovering around $3,000 last year and topping out in the $200,000 range for a suite ticket in 2016, it’s hardly a surprise that so many people choose to view the Super Bowl from the comfort of their own homes. So just how many people tuned in to watch in 2016?
According to Nielsen data, approximately 111.9 million viewers in 54.3 million homes across the United States watched the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 last year. Another way to look at it? Just under three-quarters of all U.S. homes with televisions being used at the time were tuned into the Super Bowl — the highest household share in nearly 35 years. The takeaway? Not only are huge numbers of people watching the big game at home, but their numbers are growing.
Nielsen data also reveals that it’s not just about how many are watching, but also who’s watching. Because while many people think of football as the domain of men, this couldn’t be further the truth — at least when it comes to the Super Bowl. In fact, women make up a full 46 percent of all Super Bowl viewers.
While the massive number of people watching the game at home is reason itself to stock up on a variety of snacks, there’s also the inherently social nature of the event. According to Nielsen Social, 16.9 million Tweets were sent about “Super Bowl 50” in 2016. Even more astonishing? An additional 4.6 million Tweets were sent about the advertisements which aired during the event.
While plenty of eyes will indeed be on the game, the on-field action is just one of the reasons so many people tune in to watch the Super Bowl every year. The halftime show attracts its own audience — both for the entertainment and the “water cooler” factor likely to come into play on Monday. (See 2004’s Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction.) Headlining in 2017? The always-entertaining Lady Gaga.
Home viewers may not be burning calories like the athletes on the field, but all that watching, cheering, team bonding (and smack talk), and suspense makes for some serious appetites. Throw in the beer factor (beer, wine and spirits sales all spike in the week leading up to the Super Bowl), and hosts can expect guests to show up with hearty appetites in addition to their festive foam fingers.
So What Are They Eating?
While hosts have carte blanche when it comes to choosing game day foods, party-goers do have some go-to preferences when it comes to Super Bowl snacking. These can be categorized into five main “food groups,” including the following:
1. Chicken wings
The National Chicken Council’s 2016 “Wing Report” predicted that Americans would nosh on 1.3 billion wings in the weekend leading up to last year’s Super Bowl — up 37.5 million wings from the previous year. Having trouble visualizing it? Reveals the National Chicken Council, it’s “enough wings to put more than 600 on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums.” Perhaps National Chicken Council Senior Vice President of Communications put it best in declaring, “Any way you measure it, that’s a lot of freaking wings.”
Dubbed “America’s new favorite party food,” wings also surpassed all other conventional Super Bowl snacks to come out on top in Today’s “Super Bowl Snack Bracket.”
If you’ve ever made chicken wings at home, however, you’re probably already aware that making your own chicken wings is fairly labor intensive — particularly if you’re trying to host a party and watch the big game at the same time. Duff’s Famous Wings courtesy of FoodyDirect offers a scrumptious solution.
2. Pizza and pasta
Pizza perennially tops lists of “America’s favorite foods,” making this hot, cheesy choice a smart addition to any game day menu. According to data provided by Metlife Stadium and analyzed by scientists at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Americans consume more than 8,000 pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday. Concludes NJ.com, “Laid down on the turf, those pies would cover the field from the goal line almost up to the 25-yard line.”
And while anyone can call out for ho-hum delivery, why not go the extra mile this year by serving up pies from some of the country’s most famous pizza places. From Chicago deep dish to gourmet lobster white truffle, the options are almost endless when you choose from FoodyDirect’s extensive inventory of mail order pizza.
Also falling under the same heading? Pasta. Nothing hits the spot better than a heaping bowl of pasta. Is it really all that surprising that Americans also consume approximately 500 gallons of marinara sauce during the Super Bowl? According to NJ.com, “that’s enough to fill up 1,700 large Super Soakers.”
3. Hot dogs, sausages, brats, kielbasa, etc.
Is there anything better than sinking your teeth into a juicy, meaty hot dog or sausage during the heat of a game? There’s a reason why more than 40,000 hot dogs and sausages were consumed during a recent Super Bowl. NJ.com also provides this handy visual aimed at helping you get a sense of just how many hot dogs that is: “Stacked end-to-end, they’d stretch 4 miles high into the sky. (That’s 14 times higher than the Empire State Building.) Laid end-to-end on the ground, they’d run two-thirds of the way around Central Park.”
When guests are looking for something they can really make a meal out of, make sure you’re ready to deliver…with a little help from FoodyDirect’s appropriately named, “Hot Dog Heaven.”
Super Bowl LI will be held in Houston, TX this year. What better way to pay homage to the event’s host city than by serving up some good, old-fashioned barbecue? After all, insists Texas Monthly, “We are living in the golden age of Texas barbecue.”
Don’t tell Texas, but the Longhorn State hasn’t quite cornered the market yet when it comes to producing phenomenal barbecue. From Missouri to South Carolina to Ohio, the competition is stiff…and delicious.
Planning on a crowd? Choose from brisket, BBQ ribs, burnt ends, pulled pork and plenty of tasty sides at FoodyDirect. BBQ meals, bundles, and samples, meanwhile, will feed massive crowd with minimal effort.
5. Deli foods and other less traditional Super Bowl fare
Because the Super Bowl attracts viewers of all ages and appetites, it makes sense that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to game day foods. Instead, choosing an assortment of edibles can help ensure that there’s something for everyone.
Why not think outside the box with a creative menu including pigs in blankets; meatball sandwiches, Philly cheesesteaks, deli platters, tamales and even turduckens? As with all of the best parties, the best menus factor in the pleasures and preferences of the guests in attendance, and take it from there.
What do all of these amazing game day foods have in common? They take the work out of the equation by harnessing the power of today’s gourmet mail order food options. After all, what’s the point of throwing an epic Super Bowl party if you don’t get to enjoy it?
Let FoodyDirect help you plan the perfect Super Bowl party this year with its amazing assortment of game day food. Visit FoodyDirect to start planning your Super Bowl menu today.