With 181 million Americans predicted to sit down and watch Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, new research suggests they can expect fewer vegetables, and lots more suds.
Nielsen's latest Super Bowl survey reports that for partygoers, healthy chow is taking a back seat to football classics: Beer, pizza, wings, and … beer. Pizza, for example, jumped from the 7th most likely-to-be-served spot last year to No. 3; and wings shot up to the 4th spot, from No. 9 last year. Salty snacks and dips remain No. 1 and 2, but veggie platters dropped from No. 3 to No. 9.
The comeback crown, though, belongs to brewskis, with 53% saying they will either drink or serve beer during the game. Carbonated beverages came in second, at 51%, representing a big switch from last year, when 71% served soda, and only 42% offered beer.
And while the Nielsen survey predicts an increase in overall Super Bowl spending, the National Retail Federation is estimating a slight dip, with fans shelling out an average of $68.27 on food, athletic wear, decorations and TVs, down a smidge from last year’s $68.54.
The survey, conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights, calls for total spending of $12.3 billion. Party-loving Gen Y is expected to spend most, with 18- to-24-year-olds forking over an average of $92.83 on Super Bowl partying, and those 25 to 34 spending $101.51.
The big game is typically a major payday for retailers -- and this year, the NRF predicts 77% will buy special food, 8.1% team clothing or accessories, and 7.2% a new TV. About 39 million people plan to host a party, and 62 million say they will attend a get-together. An additional 10 million fans say they will watch from bars or restaurants.
Both surveys probed consumers about how important the game's commercials are, with the NRF reporting that 24.9% of adults think the ads are the most important part of the game (with those in the 45 to 54 demographic most likely to say so).
And Nielsen -- which found that 71% of consumers are expected to watch the commercials this year, up from 68% in 2013 -- says 53% of viewers will use social media to share their opinions during the game itself.
Nielsen also reports that second-screen viewing will be a major factor. This year, 15% intend to watch the game on TV while using their smartphone, 14% while using a personal computer, and 11% a tablet.