NEW YORK — While Super Bowl Sunday isn’t officially recognized as a national holiday, the all-important Sunday in February is very much an event for millions of Americans. Even those who don’t follow or even particularly like football still often find themselves watching the “big game” at a Super Bowl party. A recent survey of 2,000 Americans asked respondents why they attend Super Bowl parties year after year, and for many, the actual game is the last thing on their minds come kick off time.
The majority of respondents (56%) say they look forward to Super Bowl parties because of the food, with just being social and attending a party being the second most popular reason (54%). Less than half (49%) of respondents agree that the actual game itself is usually their main interest. Many others said they attend Super Bowl parties to get in some family time (45%), or just check out the latest commercials (38%).
The research, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Farm Rich, even finds that 40% of respondents are usually too preoccupied eating to watch most of the game. When participants were asked about “game day essentials,” the most popular answer was snacks (44%), followed by alcohol (35%), and and non-alcoholic beverages (32%).
So, it’s clear that Super Bowl Sunday is most certainly a party night. Perhaps, then, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 32% of respondents admit they’ve called in sick to work the following Monday. Middle-aged adults tend to skip work the day after the Super Bowl more often; 46% of respondents aged 39-54 years old have called out of work, while only 16% of those over the age off 55 have done the same.
What to expect at the average Super Bowl party
Of course, there are variety of different Super Bowl parties one can put together. The most popular party among respondents is pot luck, followed by a family-friendly get together with lots of kids. A die-hard party attended by only devoted NFL fans was third-most popular. The top five parties were rounded out with an “all guys” party, and a more relaxed, casual party.
On average, Super Bowl parties usually feature 14 guests.
The number one food that party guests look forward to is chicken wings (50%), followed by pizza (45%), chicken bites (38%), mozzarella sticks (33%), and chips (32%). Other popular snacks are vegetables and dip (28%), potato skins (28%), cookies (26%), fruit (26%), and hot dogs (26%).
All of those delicious food items often cause party goers to over indulge themselves. In all, 74% say they eat more during the Super Bowl than any other sporting event or viewing party, and 42% “eat too much” during the big game. In fact, the average partygoer will try six different snacks and consume 719 calories.
For what it’s worth, according to the survey, older Americans will eat a whole lot more on Super Bowl Sunday than younger generations. Baby Boomers will eat an average of 1,710 calories, while Generation Z-ers are expected to only consume 388 calories.
Many who host Super Bowl parties (63%) begin planning before January, but the Saturday before Super Bowl weekend is usually the busiest shopping day. The average Super Bowl party host will end up spending $114.75 on party costs, and men usually spend at least 30% more on the Super Bowl than women.
Men are also found to be more likely to post on social media about the big game or the party they are attending than women.
This is an updated version of an article first published on February 1, 2020.