“The Big Game” is right around the corner. Of course, many conversations around the big game are about trading football stats, predicting the final score, trash talking rivals, and generally engaging in all things game-related.
But there’s good news for you, too. Food is a big deal during the Big Game People go all out making and indulging in their favorite football bites. In reality, the meal is just as important as the sporting event itself. It might even be more important.
It’s true. And we can prove it.
We conducted social listening trend research using advanced technology platforms to aggregate and analyze what all sorts of people are saying about the Big Game leading up to and on the big day.
Food chatter flowed on every social media channel, from Twitter and Instagram to blogs. Take a look at three key takeaways from our research to help your food and beverage brand leverage this annual event to win over new consumers and delight your existing ones.
1. BIG GAME FANS ARE FOCUSED ON SNACK COVERAGE
This point can’t be emphasized enough: Social media posts about the Big Game are incredibly food-focused. Which means tons of people — your current consumers and potential customers alike — are seriously enthusiastic about their gameday eating.
Sure, our research revealed many super fans who are simply excited for the championship game. Their social media posts talk almost exclusively about football itself — especially if their team is playing.
However, there’s an arguably larger contingent who are more excited for the party itself. And unsurprisingly, food is a big part of the draw. They take to social media to share recipes and their favorite Big Game snacks. You know the type. They’re also probably the most engaged during the halftime show and scrolling Instagram or Twitter during the actual plays.
Eating and drinking are celebratory, even competitive, just like the game itself. In fact, creating snack spreads and other football-shaped foods amounts to a sport in its own right.
The takeaway? Take advantage of this day of competition to create fun, indulgent products — and marketing activations to match.
2. PLANT-BASED FOODS BELONG IN THE HUDDLE, TOO
If you’re a plant-based CPG brand, this could be your year to finally face down your non-veg rivals. While better-for-you brands have no place on gameday, vegan remakes of traditional Big Game fare are trending.
Case in point: Social media posters are decidedly anti-veggie tray on Big Game Sunday. And who can blame them? On the other hand, dishes like cauliflower buffalo wings, vegan dips of all varieties, and even plant-based desserts all got their fair share of mentions online.
How can your food and beverage brand play to plant-based or even flexitarian game-watchers? If you create a unique product or recipe for consumers to share (on social, of course), you could be an early adopter in the vegan party food space.
Being an early adopter comes with all sorts of perks. Most notably, consumers will come to associate your brand with vegan party foods because you were one of the first CPG companies to innovate in that category.
3. ADD TIKTOK TO YOUR PLAY CALLING
Vegan foods won’t be the only thing trending on social media on football’s favorite Sunday. Pregame performances leveraging new channels — like TikTok — are on the rise.
Miley Cyrus even gave the platform a go with her popular TikTok Tailgate in 2021. She performed for healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep the crowd size down, she broadcasted the performance on the video platform. And it was a megahit.
If Miley Cyrus can go viral, so can your food and bev brand. No, really.
In a way, TikTok democratizes access. Smaller brands and even individuals have the opportunity to become popular on the platform because it doesn’t only center on celebrities, influencers, and people who pay to be promoted. As long as you’re pushing out fun, creative content and using trending songs and themes, you can stand out.
Our digital technology continues to diversify. Make sure you’re looking into all of your options for Big Game marketing activations about your products.
YOUR BRAND CAN SCORE ON SOCIAL MEDIA THIS SEASON
Pandemic permitting, 2022 might be an even bigger year for the Big Game than the past two years. People are anxious to get out of their houses and party with other humans. And there’s no gameday party without gameday grub.
Even if there aren’t tons of in-person gatherings, people are still looking for ways to connect. What better way than with food? Recipe sharing and general snack-filled chatter will surely fill social media platforms in 2022 — regardless of where people end up watching the game.
Remember, foods and beverages are celebratory. Weave your products into the gameday narrative in any way you can. That might mean creating a new vegan party food, tweeting a plant-based recipe, or jumping on a food-based TikTok trend.
No matter what approach you take this year, show consumers that your CPG brand is relevant, fun, and here for the Big Game party right alongside them.