From generations to gender, Americans say food is officially more important than football when it comes to reasons to attend a Big Game party, according to new research.

A recent survey commissioned by Farm Rich, looked at different types of Big Game gatherings and the psychology of those who attend, and the findings were surprising: the game actually came in No. 3 behind “food” and “being social” when it comes to the top reasons for getting together to watch the biggest sporting event of the year.

Food for Thought:
Conducted by OnePoll, the study of 2,000 Americans, ages 18-55+, found:

  • The top reasons people attend a Big Game party are for the food (56 percent), then being social (54 percent) before the game itself (49 percent), followed by family time (45 percent) and commercials (38 percent).
  • Forty percent of respondents noted that they have been so wrapped up in the food and social side of things they have missed a lot of the game.
  • When it comes to party essentials, food takes top billing (44 percent), followed by alcohol (35 percent) and then non-alcoholic beverages (32 percent).
  • But all that drinking may come with a price and corporate America might want to take note: 32 percent of respondents revealed they have called in sick to work the day after the game.

Since food is top priority, it’s no surprise that most new year’s diet resolutions are tossed aside when it comes to the game day spread.

  • Of those surveyed, 74 percent admitted to eating more than at any other sporting event or similar viewing party.
  • Party-goers indulge in an average of six different snacks, leading to a consumption of an average 719 estimated calories, according to the study.
  • Interestingly, it’s the older generations who are consuming more on game day.
    • Baby Boomers expect to consume an average of 1,710 calories, almost an entire day’s worth of calories for many.
    • This is compared to just 388 calories that Gen Zers expect to indulge in while watching the Big Game.

LSUThe top ten game day foods that fans say can’t be missed are:

  1. Chicken wings
  2. Pizza
  3. Chicken bites
  4. Mozzarella sticks
  5. Chips
  6. Veggies & dip
  7. Loaded potato skins
  8. Cookies
  9. Fruit
  10. Hot dogs

What’s Your Party Style?
While everyone is watching the same game, the styles of party definitely differ.

  • The top five most popular get-togethers are (1) The Potluck, (2) Family Friendly with lots of kids, (3) Die-Hard Football Fans, (4) Guys Gathering and (5) Seriously Social.

“Party styles will vary, but one constant is always the food, which has a way of bringing people together – sometimes even more so than the game itself,” says Ciera Womack, Senior Marketing Manager, Farm Rich. “Guests are looking for a fun social time, as well as a great food spread, in addition to exciting football and the latest commercials.”

Planning & Prep
Most hosts are planning for parties well before knowing what teams will even be on the field.

  • Planning begins before the start of the new year for 63 percent.
  • The biggest shopping day is the Saturday before the Big Game weekend.
  • The average host spends seven hours planning for the event.

In the case of both attending and hosting, on average men reported spending at least 30 percent more than women: $110.81 vs. $74.74 when a guest, and $133.83 vs. $91.83 when playing host.

And finally, when it comes to showing off Big Game activities, it’s men who enjoy the experience of sharing on social media the most (15 percent more than women).

“These results show us that it’s really a team effort when it comes to pulling off a great party, and men more than ever are taking an interest…out-spending, out-sharing and out-planning women for the Big Game,” Womack adds.

The Farm Rich-sponsored survey was conducted in December 2019 by OnePoll.