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Big game still means big business for U.S. food retailers: Survey

American adults are expected to spend $15.3 billion to celebrate the Super Bowl

U.S. adults are expected to spend an average $81.17 for a total of $15.3 billion, as an estimated 188.5 million viewers tune in to see the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles face off in Super Bowl LII this weekend, according to the annual survey by National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Projected viewership is the same as last year, but anticipated total spending rose 8.5% from $14.1 billion last year.

“Whether throwing their own party, heading to a friend’s house or gathering at their favorite bar or restaurant, consumers are ready to spend on the big game,” noted Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF. “Super Bowl shoppers will find retailers well stocked on decorations, apparel, food and all other necessities to cheer on their favorite team.”

Of the 76% of those surveyed who intend to watch the game, 82% said they would buy food and beverages — a slight increase from last year’s 80% — and the highest in the survey’s history. Eleven per cent said they would purchase team apparel or accessories, the same as in 2017, while 8% each said they planned to buy new televisions and decorations, also the same as last year. The 25-34 age group planned to spend the most for the occasion, at an average of $118.43.

The survey also found that 18% (45 million) will hold a Super Bowl party, with 28% (69 million) planning to go to one, and just 5% opting to watch the game at a local bar or restaurant.

Interestingly, of those planning to watch, 7% said they were there for the food – a small but significant minority.

“Consumers are carrying strong spending momentum from the holiday season into their Super Bowl festivities,” said Phil Rist, EVP of strategy at Prosper. “This is evident through increased plans for purchasing, while the number of viewers remains steady with last year.”

The survey, which asked 7,277 consumers about their Super Bowl plans, was conducted Jan. 3-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

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