The Super Bowl Snack Battle: Which Brands Came Out on Top and Why

5 min read
Author: Katya Lopez-Nichols
Person holding remote, watching football on TV and eating snacks

Tracking the Top Super Bowl Snack Brands Through Customer Receipt Data

Every year, millions of people across the United States tune in to the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event of the year. Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just in it for the halftime show, one thing that everyone can agree on is that the right snacks can make or break a Super Bowl party. In recent years, we’ve seen some interesting trends emerge in terms of snack preferences for watching the big game. From classic staples like chips and dip to more unconventional options like sushi, the snack landscape for the Super Bowl has certainly evolved. Let’s take a closer look at some of the snack trends and explore what they might say about changing attitudes towards food and snacking culture in America. We’ll uncover the findings one receipt at a time.

The Super Bowl Advertising Frenzy – Why CPG Brands Invest Big Money to Reach Viewers

CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) brands spend a lot of money on Super Bowl ads because it’s an opportunity to reach a massive audience. With millions of people tuning in to watch the game each year, Super Bowl ads have the potential to generate huge amounts of exposure for brands. In addition, the ads themselves are often highly anticipated and generate a lot of buzz both before and after the game. By creating memorable, attention-grabbing ads, CPG brands can increase brand awareness, generate interest in their products, and potentially drive sales. Super Bowl ads have become a cultural phenomenon in their own right, with many people tuning in just to see the latest and greatest commercials. As a result, CPG brands see the Super Bowl as a unique and valuable opportunity to connect with consumers on a massive scale, and are willing to spend big to make an impact. 

Many notable snack brands have scored big during previous Super Bowls. Doritos, for example, often releases new commercials during the game. Doritos is known for creating memorable Super Bowl ads, and the brand has spent millions of dollars on these ads in the past. Other memorable big spenders include:

  • PepsiCo
  • Tostitos
  • Pringles
  • Pizza Hut
  • Bud Light
  • Coca-Cola
  • Snickers
  • M&Ms 
  • Taco Bell

It’s worth noting that the cost of Super Bowl ads can vary from year to year, and not all snack brands choose to spend a lot of money on these ads. However, the brands listed above have historically been some of the biggest spenders when it comes to Super Bowl ads.

Now let’s dip into some numbers (but please don’t double dip).

Crunching the Numbers: Examining the Sales Data of Super Bowl Snack Brands

Snack brands spend millions of dollars to promote their products during the game, with the hope of gaining a larger share of the market. But how do we know if their efforts are paying off? Our Veryfi Insights team examined the sales data from scanned receipts to determine which snacks brands were the most popular among customers during the big game. Specifically, we looked at receipt data from the week leading up to the Super Bowl including game day.  

Through this analysis, we hope to gain insight into the factors that contribute to the success of snack brands during the Super Bowl, and what strategies they can employ to improve their sales in the future.

The Big Winners: Snack-cessful Strategies

Anheuser-Busch InBev for Beer

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, is no stranger to the Super Bowl. The company has been one of the biggest advertisers during the big game for several years, spending millions of dollars on ads for its various beer brands. But this year, Anheuser-Busch InBev emerged not just as a big advertising spender, but also as the big beverage winner. According to sales data, the company’s beer brands dominated the market during the Super Bowl, outselling their competitors by a significant margin. The top three ranking beverages were all Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned with Bud Light taking first place followed by Budweiser and then Michelob Ultra.

Coca-Cola for Soft Drinks

In this year’s big game, Coca-Cola emerged as the clear winner in the soft drink category, outperforming its arch-rival, Pepsi, by a wide margin. According to sales data, Coca-Cola’s sales during the Super Bowl were significantly higher than those of Pepsi, indicating a strong preference among consumers for the former brand. In the past we have looked at factors that contribute to Coca-Cola’s success at winning the hearts (and taste buds) of customers.

PepsiCo for Chips

This year, PepsiCo emerged as the clear leader in the chip category, crushing the competition with its Lays and Doritos brands. According to sales data, PepsiCo’s chips took the top four spots and six of the top ten spots in the sales rankings, indicating a strong preference for the company’s offerings among Super Bowl viewers. Kettle brand chips were the only significant alternative to the PepsiCo brands.

Hellman’s for Condiments

Americans love mayo, and Hellman’s brand mayo in particular was the clear condiment champion. Unsurprisingly, French’s mustard and Heinz ketchup were the most popular mustard and ketchup. Pace salsa and Cholula hot sauce topped the non-traditional condiments, cracking the top 10 list. 

The Sneaky Snack Attack

We had a few unexpected findings. Dr Pepper, for example, was surprisingly popular, ranking #3 among non-alcoholic beverages after Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Gatorade was another surprise, more popular than both Sprite and Diet Coke. Although given their long history with the Super Bowl, that isn’t too surprising. The very first Gatorade “shower” – a celebratory dumping of a cooler full of the drink over a coach’s head – occurred during the Super Bowl in 1985. Since then, the brand has been a fixture of the big game, with its ads and product placements becoming a regular part of the Super Bowl viewing experience. Gatorade’s presence at the Super Bowl is not just about marketing, however. The brand has also been responsible for supplying its namesake drink to players on the sidelines during the game, helping them stay hydrated and energized throughout the grueling competition.

Two other surprises jumped out. The first was that while wings (chicken wings) made a justified jump in purchases, avocados didn’t. Perhaps people opted for store-bought guac rather than making their own? The second surprise was the significant jump Pepsi Zero had the week leading to game day versus their usual baseline. Perhaps the ads with Steve Martin & Ben Stiller that were running prior to the Super Bowl helped keep Pepsi Zero top of mind?

How CPG Brands Can Score a Touchdown with Customers

In conclusion, the Super Bowl presents a unique opportunity for CPG brands to connect with customers in a meaningful way. By leveraging the excitement and anticipation surrounding the big game, brands can tap into a captive audience of millions and create campaigns that leave a lasting impact. From using humor and celebrity endorsements to emphasizing social responsibility and inclusivity, there are many strategies that brands can employ to maximize their impact and score a touchdown with consumers. By taking the time to understand what resonates with their target audience and crafting campaigns that reflect their values and priorities, CPG brands can create Super Bowl ads that not only generate buzz during the game, but also have a lasting impact on brand awareness and loyalty. Ultimately, the key to success is to stay true to your brand and to create campaigns that are not just memorable, but also authentic and engaging.
If you are interested in how our Veryfi Insights team uncovered our findings, check out our receipt OCR API for real-time data extraction or get a demo from our team and see the mobile receipt capture app in action. You can also take a self-guided tour with your own free account!

Test Drive It Now