There have been many changes in personal, social, and global circles this past year, but at least there is one thing we can be sure of: Super Bowl is on! As one of the key promotional periods across many food industries, Super Bowl creates an opportunity for prepared foods and deli category insights to surface and for retailers to take advantage of the products driving consumer decisions.
As we turn the corner in January and retailers begin to look at ramping up more promotions for the Big Game, I turned to Steve Lutz, Senior Vice President of Insights and Innovation at Category Partners, to get a breakdown of what past successes and stats might offer us as we look to February and the Big Game.
“Super Bowl weekend has evolved into a significant sales week for supermarkets, and the deli department is a key department, generating sales and volume gains in a number of categories. It’s likely we will see the lower lifts in 2021 as consumers are probably less inclined to attend and host Super Bowl events in a COVID-19 environment,” Steve says. “It’s not a surprise that the deli categories and items that consumers turn to for party and event planning show significant sales lift during Super Bowl as consumers look for ingredients and finger food snacks.”
Deli combination packs, dips, and cheese party platters generate among the strongest increases in sales in the deli department, Category Partners Powered by Nielsen reports. Last year, sales in these three key categories jumped 16 percent during Super Bowl week over the average weekly sales in the preceding three weeks. In addition, appetizers were also strong, with a 15 percent Super Bowl sales lift.
“There are also deli opportunities in other key categories for Super Bowl sales that consumers turn to for entertaining. Hummus, olives, and dessert items like pudding and mousse jump in sales,” Steve reflects.
He adds that, in 2021, Covid will alter Super Bowl events, impacting consumer purchases.
“The game will go on, but parties and game celebrations will predictably be smaller, closer, and more subdued. As such, while supermarket delis should see a lift from Super Bowl week, planning item selection around smaller sized packs and platters will better accommodate consumer needs. Shoppers will still be looking for products to enjoy during the game, but more likely only watching with family and close friends, thereby altering traditional purchase priorities. As such, Deli departments can prepare by highlighting displays around key categories but emphasizing smaller pack sizes that entice purchases while minimizing consumer concerns regarding leftovers and waste,” he tells me.
Food provides us all an opportunity to celebrate our lives in different and unique ways, and deli dishes definitely make Super Bowl an experience to covet. After all, we are all consumers and shoppers at the end of the day.