Retailers and CPG companies might get less of a boost from the Super Bowl this year than would be the case in a time without a raging pandemic.
That might seem obvious but new numbers from Chicago-based data firm Numerator help to illustrate that point and the challenges faced by those companies going into the Feb. 7 game. Overall, there will be fewer repeat watchers, fewer gatherings, and less planned spend. Numerator polled 1,500 past Super Bowl viewers, evaluating responses using psychographic data collected via MicroSurveys.
The Saturday before the Super Bowl has historically been the No. 1 or No. 2 CPG shopping day of the year (No. 2 highest day of grocery sales in 2018; No. 1 highest day of grocery sales in 2019). The shift in consumer buying during the pandemic dropped the 2020 Saturday before the Super Bowl to No. 6 (largely displaced by COVID spikes in March), according to Numerator.
Consumer sentiment surrounding the 2021 Super Bowl indicates spending and viewership will decline.
Key findings include:
- 91% of past Super Bowl watchers plan to watch it again this year — however, viewing habits in the COVID era will change. Nearly three-fourths (72%) plan to watch at home alone, or with members of their household, up from 53% in 2020.
- 14% plan to watch at a gathering with members outside of their household, down from 39% last year.
- 3% plan to watch at a bar, restaurant or other public place, down from 6% in 2020.
- 9% of past Super Bowl watchers don't plan to watch the game, up significantly from 1% in 2020.
- Approximately 1 in 5 "Non-Fans" (18%) say they do not plan to watch.
- Watching the game and watching commercials are the leading reasons consumers tune in at 44% and 43%, respectively.
- 49% of Avid Fans cite watching the game as a driver, versus 41% of Non-Fans.
- 43% of Avid Fans cite watching commercials as a driver, versus 44% of Non-Fans.
- 91% of Super Bowl watchers plan to purchase food or drink for the game.
- Just 15% of respondents indicate they plan to spend more on food or drink for the game.
- However, 38% will spend less on food and drinks, with 29% planning to reduce spend, and 9% not making any purchases for this year's game.
- 28% plan to order their Super Bowl groceries online, with 18% planning to order for pickup, and 13% for delivery.
- 17% plan to order from a restaurant for takeout or delivery.
Recent data from other sources show how the pandemic has changed Super Bowl advertising this year, including for big food and beverage brands — some of which have decided to focus instead of vaccine education and other COVID-19 efforts.