Dig in! Super Bowl Means Super Sales of Food and Drink

The National Retail Federation expects Americans to spend about $15.3 billion on Super Bowl LII, according to new research conducted for the federation.

The NRF said 76 percent of consumers surveyed said they plan to watch the game, and 82 percent of those people said they will buy food and beverages specifically meant for consumption during the event. The federation said that number was up slightly from 80 percent last year, and the highest in the survey's history.

"It's a good week for cheese," said Nate Formalarie of Vermont's famous Cabot Creamery.

Formalarie said hot sellers this week have included shredded cheese and sour cream for nachos, dips and pre-cut cracker-sized cheddar slice.

All that dairy and more, he said, drives an annual sales spike the week before Super Bowl parties. Many years, the cooperative has seen a 10 to 15 percent jump in sales the week before the big game, but when a team of local interest is playing, the number is even higher.

Formalarie said Cabot expects to see a 20 percent or more jump in sales from this week with the New England Patriots squaring off with the Philadelphia Eagles, because both markets are strong for Cabot.

"All those sales go back to benefit farmers throughout New England: in Massachusetts, Vermont and all around," Formalarie said of the cooperative’s 1,100 member farmers in New England and New York.

Burlington's Switchback Brewing Company also sees a boost from the big game, it said.

"We had someone come in and buy three cases of beer last night," Switchback's Abbe Malcolm told necn.

Malcolm said following New Year's Eve, January is usually is a bit of a quieter time for beer sales, until a sudden shift happens in time for the Super Bowl.

"The Super Bowl comes around, and it's kind of like a beer holiday," Malcolm said. "Not just for big beer companies, but for all beer companies — like us, and all craft breweries."

Bishop Christopher Coyne of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, a lifelong Patriots fan originally from Massachusetts, put food at the center of a friendly Super Bowl wager with a priest friend in Philadelphia.

"I'm picking the Patriots 27-20," Coyne said Friday.

Under the wager, if the Pats win, Father Mark Hunt of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has to eat Tom Brady's TB 12 diet for a week. It is heavy on fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.

"I'm going to have to sing 'Fly, Eagles Fly' – their fight song – and post it on my Facebook page, and I hate that song," Coyne said, explaining what will happen if the Patriots lose the Super Bowl. "[Fr. Hunt] says I'm getting off easy, because the TB 12 diet is just awful. He's a cheese steak guy — he's like, 'You're going to make me eat avocados for a week?' and I said, 'Well, put your money where your mouth is!'"

Fueling game day food and drink consumption, the National Retail Federation estimated 114 million Americans will either host or attend a Super Bowl party.

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