Whether the New England Patriots or the New York Giants come away from the Super Bowl with the trophy, the real winner of the big game is likely to be America’s supermarkets: A new poll from the Retail Advertising & Marketing Association (RAMA) says a record 173 million people expect to watch the game on Feb. 5, the most in its survey’s eight-year history.
Spending is expected to reach $11 billion. And 63.6 million (27.1%) plan to attend a get-together -- up from last year’s 61.2 million -- while 35.9 million (15.3%) plan to throw a party, also up from the 34.9 million who said they would do so in 2011.
The survey, conducted by BIGResearch, found that the typical game-watcher plans to spend $63.87 on related merchandise, apparel and snacks, up from $59.33 last year. And -- in good news for retailers -- at least 5.1 million intend to buy a new TV for the big day, compared to 4.5 million last year and the 3.6 million who said they would do so in 2010.
“Hot on the heels of a solid holiday season, many retailers will look to meet consumer demand and expectations with big promotions on party essentials, including 3D televisions, team décor and apparel, and, of course, food and beverages,” the Washington, D.C.-based trade association, part of the National Retail Federation, says in its release.
Feb. 5 is expected to be a huge day for restaurants as well. The National Restaurant Association is predicting that 48 million Americans will order takeout or delivery food from a restaurant while watching the game, and that 2 million are expected to view the game at a restaurant or bar.
And while early odds may favor the Patriots, fans’ true allegiance lies with marketers: Nearly three-quarters of viewers in this year’s RAMA survey, which included more than 9,300 adults, say they see commercials as entertainment.