There are few celebrations that Americans look forward to, more than Super Bowl Sunday. And while the love for the game is an obvious reason, there is another equally important element - The food! For, believe it or not, Super Bowl Sunday is not just the most popular television event of the year, but also the second-largest day for food consumption, after Thanksgiving!
The noshing will begin long before the Denver Broncos, and Seattle Seahawks start the thrilling battle at the Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and continue long after, the Gatorade is poured over the winning coach! According to the US Calorie Control Council and Snack Food Association, an average fan will consume 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat - and that count is just for the snacks consumed!
So what are the most popular foods? Pizza, of course, tops the list, which is why it is not surprising to hear that over 4 million pies will be delivered by just three companies - Dominos, Pizza Hut and Papa John's. And while all the chains offer gourmet toppings, on game day it is pepperoni that most fans seem to crave. Dominos alone expects to use 14 billion of the round nuggets - enough to circumvent the globe over three times!
Chicken wings are also extremely popular. While in 2013, fans had to restrain themselves by consuming only 1.23 billion thanks to a shortage of the delectable treat, this year, the number is expected to rise back to the regular 1.25 billion. According to the National Chicken Council Association, that is the equivalent of piling 572 wings on each seat of the NFL stadium! Foot-long subs, hot dogs, and burgers round up the top food choices on this day.
And that is just the warm, take-out stuff - Super Bowl Sunday is also a big day for salty snacks. If estimates are to believed, Americans will crunch their way through 11.2 million pounds of potato chips, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, 80 million pounds of guacamole, 4.3 million pounds of pretzels, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn and 2.5 million pounds of nuts!
Of course, all this food has to be washed down with some liquid. Beer is the choice of beverage for adults, while kids get to indulge in sodas of their choosing. And with 51.7 million cases of beer and $2.37 million USD worth of pop expected to be sold today, neither are holding back!
As you would expect, all this indulgence takes some serious money, not to mention, preparation time. It is estimated that Americans spend about $11 billion USD on game day - 73% of it on food and beverages and, about 10 million hours getting it all ready!
Of course, all this eating takes its toll. The world's largest convenience store chain 7-Eleven reports a 20% increase in antacid sales the day after the big game. Not only that, if statistics are to believed, about seven million workers call in sick on 'Super Bowl Monday,' and equally as many, show up late. It is no wonder that some Americans are advocating for the day after the big game to be a national holiday!
Happy Super Bowl Sunday!
Go Broncos! Go Seahawks!
Resources: usatoday.com, treehugger.com, Nielsen,associated content.com, pennlive.com