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Are grocers becoming conflicted over love and football?

For the second year in a row, the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day are within days of each other, posing challenges for grocers’ marketing teams.

The game was held in January since its inception until 2002, when the September 11 attacks postponed a week of games and extended the season into the first week of February. The season was extended another week over the last two years to bring the big game even closer to Valentine’s Day.

Based on recent surveys, food has become a bigger to-do around the Super Bowl:

  • A survey from Adtaxi, a digital marketing agency, found 64 percent of U.S. adults will purchase items in preparation of the Super Bowl.
  • Advantage Solutions’ survey found salty snacks, cited by 79 percent, topping the list of items to serve or bring to a game-day party, followed by pizza (70 percent), beer (68 percent), prepared sandwiches (60 percent) and deserts (57 percent).
  • Frito-Lay’s just-released Snack Index found 49 percent of those planning to attend Super Bowl parties cited running out of snacks as a worse concern than their team losing the game.

According to Statista, consumer spending around the Super Bowl is expected to reach $16.5 billion in 2023, or an average of $85 per U.S. adult, with around 80 percent going toward food and beverages.

Valentine’s Day, however, is an even bigger spending day. The NRF predicts U.S. sales of $23.9 billion this year, although the holiday is less known for food.

The close proximity of both days has some grocers, such as H-E-B and Stop & Shop, playing up the sale of candies, chocolates and strawberries for Valentine’s Day on websites and circulars, while Wegman’s and Kroger are among those emphasizing game-day favorites and catering for the Super Bowl. Some grocers are focusing equally on both days, although that reduces the call-to-action around a single event.

Speaking to Progressive Grocer, Melissa Myres, director for 84.51° Insights, said that while inflationary pressure may influence spending differently this year, having Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day falling close to each other has so far not been found to cause cannibalization between the two events.



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