Super Bowl LV: The Game, The Food, The Ads

The Super Bowl is fast approaching. As the first big event of 2021, 4A’s Research wanted to know how consumers will celebrate. We used Suzy, a real-time market research platform, to survey 1,000 consumers to find out where they will watch the Super Bowl this year, what they will eat, and who they think will compete.

The Game: Team predictions and staying home
Survey respondents predict that the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers will play against each other in Super Bowl LV. Let’s see if they’re right!  This survey was conducted on January 20, 2021, so we can see that there was at least one surprise on the teams going to the game.

Super Bowl team predictions chart
Participant parameters: 18+. 1,000 participants. Conducted by 4A’s Research via Suzy on 1/20/2021.

When asked what they will do on Super Bowl Sunday, 46% of consumers plan to watch the game with their immediate household. 12% will attend or host a party, with Gen Z (18-24) being the most likely to do so, and 5% will go to a bar or other public venue. About a quarter of respondents don’t plan on watching the game.

Results show that 7% will attend a virtual Super Bowl party. Black respondents (24%) are most likely to watch the Super Bowl this way, as well as those with incomes of $150,000 (14%).

Surprisingly, 4% will be attending the game in person in Tampa. Those who plan on attending the game are more likely to be men between 35-49 years old.

Super Bowl Sunday plans chart
Participant parameters: 18+. 1,000 participants. Conducted by 4A’s Research via Suzy on 1/20/2021.

The best part
Consumers rank the game (22%), the food (21%), and getting together with friends and family (21%) as their favorite parts of the Super Bowl. 19% of respondents watch the Super Bowl for the halftime show, and 16% say the ads are their favorite part.

Favorite part of the Super Bowl chart
Participant parameters: 18+. 1,000 participants. Conducted by 4A’s Research via Suzy on 1/20/2021.

Looking at past surveys, consumers tuning in for the ads has been pretty consistent over the years. In 2017, Civic Science surveyed around 1,000 consumers about the main reasons they watched the Super Bowl. 13% said the ads. In 2019, YouGov found that 18% of consumers thought the commercials are the most important part of the game.

Historically, consumers have looked forward to Super Bowl commercials for humor and entertainment. According to Adweek, hitting the right tone is the biggest challenge for advertisers in this year’s Super Bowl. We’re looking forward to seeing the ads and having a good laugh.

What’s on the menu?
Dips. Wings. Pizza. Guacamole. These foods usually appear on Super Bowl recipe lists; how did they stack up in our survey?

Overall, pizza and wings ranked the highest, with close to 1 in 3 selecting pizza as their favorite Super Bowl food and nearly 1 in 4 opting for wings.

Favorite Super Bowl foods chart
Participant parameters: 18+. 1,000 participants. Conducted by 4A’s Research via Suzy on 1/20/2021.

Despite coming in at 18% overall, chips and dip were the most controversial food in our survey with only 7% of Latinx respondents and 10% of men choosing this staple as their favorite. On the other hand, women (21%) and respondents with incomes $45,000-59,000 (28%) picked chips and dip over other options.

Burgers, desserts, and heros/subs were on the losing side with less than 1 in 10 naming these foods as Super Bowl favorites.

In 2019, YouGov asked consumers the foods that they’d eat at Super Bowl parties; pizza and wings also ranked high, but chips and dip came in at the top at 47%, perhaps indicating that party goers will happily dig into the chips and dip but pizza and wings are their preference.

New recipes and old standbys
When asked about their food plans for game day, more than half of respondents reported that they plan on making their favorite foods and about a quarter plan on adding a new recipe to the mix as well.

Foods plans for Super Bowl Sunday chart
Participant parameters: 18+. 1,000 participants. Conducted by 4A’s Research via Suzy on 1/20/2021.

While nearly a third overall planned to order from a restaurant, this plan was particularly popular with Black consumers; 58% reported planning on having food from a restaurant.

Interest in new recipes for game day varied widely by age group, with younger respondents showing more interest in trying something new.

plan to try out a new recipe for the Super Bowl by age chart
Participant parameters: 18+. 1,000 participants. Conducted by 4A’s Research via Suzy on 1/20/2021.

It’s no surprise that consumers will fall back on old favorites, with more than half overall planning on making their favorite foods on Super Bowl Sunday. Consumers 18-49 were most likely to say that they are planning to make favorite foods, while those over 50 were more likely to say that they would not change their eating habits for the game.

Just as consumers are adapting to a new version of the Super Bowl, agencies and advertisers will adapt their advertising. New advertisers will be heard and themes will be more light-hearted. Whether it’s for the game, the food, the halftime show, or the ads, consumers have plenty to look forward to on February 7.