Americans to Consume 20 Million Pounds of Cheese During Super Bowl

  • We’d be the healthiest nation in the world if we were this enthusiastic about vegetables.

The country is well on its way making preparations for the greatest battle of the year. No, we’re not talking about any military conflict – this is all about the big game, the Super Bowl.

And what pops to your mind when you think about the Super Bowl? Probably football, of course, together with ridiculously expensive ads and game day snacks.

Speaking of the snacks, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) have shared some fascinating facts. This year, according to them, American football fans will consume more than 20 million pounds of cheese.

To put that in perspective, the obscene amount of cheese is equal to 1.7 million cheese wheels. If that’s still not graphic enough for you, how about this – it’d be enough cheese to fill every single NFL stadium in the country.

There’s a stereotype of Americans covering every edible thing with tons of cheese. Apparently that might not be all so farfetched, after all.

Suzanne Fanning, chief marketing officer for Wisconsin Cheese, says that the coronavirus pandemic is largely to blame for the nation’s hunger for lipids.

“Cheese has always been a game day staple, but this year, we are seeing record-breaking cheese sales and a huge increase in game day recipe searches,” Fanning said.

In 2020, U.S. cheese sales rose 13%. That means that over the last year, Americans bought more cheese than on any other year on record.

“The desire for recipes with cheese – the ultimate comfort food – coupled with the continued craze for charcuterie boards, ensures that cheese will be the real winner of the Big Game,” said Fanning.

Hardworking Farmers

To produce the ungodly amounts of cheese we devour on game day, dairy farmers have had to take some drastic measures. Otherwise stocks might run out.

“Many of our state’s cheesemakers have added extra shifts and secured extra space to accommodate all the orders—not to mention adapt their businesses to accommodate the sudden jump in online cheese orders from consumers across the country,” said Kirk Scott, senior vice president of dairy company communications at DFW.

Ken McNulty, the owner of Wisconsin Cheese Mart, confirms that cheese is indeed flying off the shelves.

“We are planning to triple our fulfillment capacity in the coming months. We saw a huge increase in our online sales thanks to shifting customer demand,” McNulty said.

Cheese, Cheese Everywhere

It’s no wonder that cheese is in high demand. Google Trends has published data on the most popular game day foods in the U.S. and they tell a truly artery-clogging story.

Based on unique Google searches, the search engine giant determined the most sought-after Super Bowl snack in each state. In 28 states – more than half the country, in case you’re as bad at math as this author – the most popular food includes some kind of cheese.

Dips are the most common kind of snack, with 13 states going for some dip variety. Out of them all, buffalo chicken dip takes the lead, being the snack of choice in six states.

Buffalo chicken dip, at last according to Frank’s, contains both cream cheese and blue cheese.

Behind buffalo chicken is the seven-layer dip, which was the most popular food in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, and Washington. Other cheesy treats wolfed down in various states include cheeseburger sliders, nachos, white queso, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Some states’ favorite dish might not contain cheese in itself, but we’re ready to bet they’re sprinkling some cheese on top of it. We’re looking at you here, Massachusetts, with your chili.

And then there’s New Hampshire, where the most popular game day food is lasagna. The dish of course includes cheese, but that doesn’t really strike us as a convenient football-watching food.

More Than Just Cheese

But you can’t subsist on cheese alone. Since the pandemic is confining football fans to their homes, other snack and food producers are expecting to see increased demand.

One of them is Frito-Lay, the country’s largest producer of snacks in chip form. The company expects to see a 21% increase in snack sales this year compared to 2020.

“Americans continue to look for familiarity and comfort in their favorite foods as the pandemic has continued, and we expect that trend to remain in the weeks leading up to game day as 80% of adults think Super Bowl isn’t complete without snacks and dips,” said Mike Del Pozzo, chief customer officer at Frito-Lay North America.

Similarly, the National Chicken Council (yes, there’s a national chicken council) expects football lovers to devour a record-breaking 1.42 billion chicken wings over the Super Bowl weekend. That’s enough wings to circle the Earth three times if you laid them down end to end.

“If you think about it, restaurants like wing joints and pizza places were built around takeout and delivery, so they didn’t have to change their business model that much during the pandemic. As long as people are sitting around watching TV and maybe drinking a beer, wings will remain in the game,” said Tom Super, the Chicken Council’s spokesman.

Enjoy your game day weekend, but try not consume all that cheese and chicken wings on your own. Your arteries will thank you.

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