Super Bowl spending bounces back in 2018

Football at 50 yard line
Super Bowl spending will be back up after a slowdown in 2017. (Getty Images)

Almost three-fourths of this year's hosts plan to spend more than $50 on food and supplies for their Super Bowl parties, according to Valassis, a leader in activating consumers through intelligent media delivery. And according to a survey of consumers, small and local businesses have an opportunity to capture a large portion of these Super Bowl profits.

In fact, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that a total of $15.3 billion will be spent around the big game, up 8.5% from $14.1 billion in 2017. 

While Super Bowl spending was on an upward trend starting in 2014, sales took a dip in 2017. But coming off a strong holiday, consumers are expected to bring those numbers back up in 2018. 

Of the 76% surveyed by the NRF who will watch the game, 82% plan to purchase food and beverages, up from 80% last year. 

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In addition, 45 million adults will host a Super Bowl party and 69 million plan to attend one. 

“Consumers are carrying strong spending momentum from the holiday season into their Super Bowl festivities,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “This is evident through increased plans for purchasing while the number of viewers remains steady with last year. Fans aren’t afraid to spend a few extra dollars to make this year’s game the best one yet.”

Of those surveyed by Valassis, 43% will primarily shop at local retailers and grocers, compared to 33% who will do so through chain outlets. Some of the decisions on which stores to shop at are based on proximity, as 52% said they are not willing to travel more than four miles for their purchases. Even for those ordering food, 50% plan to do so from restaurants within five miles. 

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“This is an important time for small businesses—particularly restaurants and pizza shops—to be top of mind with local consumers," said Steve Hauber, president, Valassis local solutions. “Those making a concerted effort to reach shoppers with hyperlocal marketing can expect to see a greater impact on sales as game day consumers prefer to order out and pick up food close to home.”

And businesses should ramp up their marketing as close to the big day as possible, as almost 70% of consumers will complete their purchases just one or two days before the big game. 

The Super Bowl is also a big opportunity for in-store sales, as 75% of consumers plan to purchase at a physical location, compared to 15% who will shop both online and in-store (and 10% online only). 

And traditional marketing will still be effective, as one-third of those surveyed said they plan to check in-store circulars for coupons.