Game Day Food Delivery

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Sports and Food Delivery, Pt 1

Even after extensive research, information on only one of the sports that correlate with the highest number of food deliveries on game days in the US could be found. The sport that correlates with the highest number of food deliveries in the US is football. More information on the topic has been presented below, along with an outline of the research strategy.

FOOTBALL

  • According to Exponential, food items (mainly pizza) go hand-in-hand with football. It is a classic tradition in the US to have pizza, beer, and friends when watching football games on TV.
  • The study also analyzed the correlation between football games and the number of online orders received during football season and off-season. They also compared the orders on game days to non-game days to understand seasonality in consumer behavior.
  • According to the study, there was an increased rate of sales on Saturday game days. The cities with an increased rate of sales included Madison, Wisconsin (42%); Ann Arbor, Michigan (97%); Auburn, Alabama (94%); and Athens, Georgia (67%).
  • The increase in sales during Saturday game days could also be seen in Tallahassee, FL; Baton Rouge, LA; Gainesville, FL; and Knoxville, TN.
  • In total, there was a 52% increase in food sales between "in-season Saturday game days and out-of-season Saturdays across 8 cities". Similarly, there was a 30% increase in sales "between the overall in-season and out-of-season average.
  • Chipotle, a fast-casual fast-food chain in the US, experienced a 700% increase in delivery order during the college football bowl season. Similarly, Chipotle's app recorded a 25% increase in downloads.
  • This is the reason why many fast-food chains and restaurants offer delivery deals as a part of their promotions, specifically during the football season and Sunday game nights.
  • Grubhub, an online ordering and delivery marketplace, released the list of most ordered food on Sunday game nights during football season. The food items were cheeseburger (156% more popular), chicken nuggets (142% more popular), barbecue burgers (128% more popular), potato wedges (122% more popular), and wings (121% more popular).

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We started the research by looking into multiple food delivery industry reports on databases, such as PR Newswire, PMQ Pizza Magazine, and more. Our main aim was to find publicly available lists of sports that correlate with the highest number of food deliveries. However, no such list was available in the reports. We looked into multiple sports and cross-referenced them to food and meal deliveries. We were able to find some information on the Super Bowl and food deliveries. However, the information was not specific to the research.

Thereafter, we looked into the annual reports, fact sheets, and other relevant publications of popular delivery companies, such as Grubhub, Doordash, and Uber Eats. We were able to find some information on the Super Bowl and the most ordered food items in the US on Sunday game nights. Therefore, we were able to determine that football is an important sport in the delivery market. However, we were not able to find such information for any other sport.

Lastly, we tried to find the sales revenue of specific fast-food chains that are prominent in deliveries. The fast-food chains that we looked into included Domino's Pizza, Pizza Hut, Chipotle, and more. We found some qualitative information on the Super Bowl and football season. We also found a case study of a pizza chain that analyzed the food deliveries during the football season. However, we did not find any useful information for other sports through this strategy. Therefore, we were able to conclude that football correlates to the highest number of food deliveries.

Part
02
of three
Part
02

Sports and Food Delivery, Pt. 2

In 2015, over 48 million people in the United States were estimated to order delivery or takeout during the Super Bowl. In 2019, food delivery orders rose by 41% on Super Bowl Sunday when compared to the prior Sunday.

SuperBowl Event

Statistics

  • During the 2019 Super Bowl event, consumers throughout America were ordering from various food delivery services such as GrubHub or UberEats.
  • Compared to the previous Sunday, orders on Super Bowl Sunday were up 41%, and when compared to the game last year, the figures were up 53%.
  • On Super Bowl Sunday, individuals spent, on average, about $33.26 for each order, which was merely one dollar more than a regular Sunday.
  • Food consumption on Super Bowl Sunday is second to the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • People in the United States have consumed around 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips and 11.2 million pounds of potato chips in past years. They have also consumed guacamole prepared from about 79 million avocados.
  • Also, Americans have consumed 3 million pounds of nuts and 3.8 million pounds of popcorn.
  • During the 2019 Super Bowl, Pizza Hut anticipated that it would to deliver 1.5 million pies. Domino’s expected to sell about 13 million pizza slices.
  • A popular food item on Super Bowl Sunday is chicken wings.
  • Americans are projected to consume 1.38 billion wings, according to estimates from the National Chicken Council. This figure would represent a 2% increase from 2018.
  • Additional popular food items on Super Bowl Sunday are hamburgers (14 million), bacon (12.5 million pounds), ribs (10 million pounds), hot dogs, and foot-long subs.
  • In the two weeks prior to the 2018 Super Bowl, Americans spent more than $2 billion on beverages.
  • For the 2019 Super Bowl weekend, Americans were expected to consume over 28 million slices of pizza.
  • At least 103 million individuals watch the game during Super Bowl Sunday, indicating a growing demand.

Number of Food deliveries during SuperBowl event:

  • In the year 2015, over 48 million individuals in the United States were estimated to order delivery or takeout during the Super Bowl.

Food delivery champions during SuperBowl event:

  • On Super Bowl Sunday, UberEats accounted for 27.3% of all food delivery orders, which was an increase from the previous SuperBowl (16.6% of sales).
  • GrubHub and Seamless had 17% of sales each, while DoorDash had 13.8%.
  • However, GrubHub and Seamless lost 3.7 and 6.9 percentage points, respectively, regarding their share of deliveries. Meanwhile, DoorDash share increased from the 8% of sales in the previous year.


Research Strategy:

Determining the Super Bowl as an event that correlates with the highest number of food deliveries on game day

During our research, the only relevant sporting event we encountered was the Super Bowl. There was a considerable amount of statistics proving it to be the second-largest food consumption day in the U.S. after Thanksgiving. Hence, based on the statistics such as the average amount of money spent, food delivery percentage, quantity of food consumed, etc., we presented the Super Bowl as the sporting event in the U.S. that correlates with the highest number of food deliveries.

However, no recent data was available on the number of food deliveries during the Super Bowl. We checked for this information in reports published by the top food delivery companies like GrubHub, Uber Eats, Yelp Eat, Seamless, among others to see if they mentioned any statistics or data on their food deliveries during a sporting event in the U.S. However, no such information was available. Recent data from industry associations also had no such comparable metric to be presented. Hence, we relied upon a source from the USDA citing a 2015 article from the National Restaurant Association, which mentioned that 48 million Americans were expected to order takeout or delivery during the Super Bowl. Therefore, we have taken this as the estimated number of food deliveries during the event.

Apart from the Super Bowl, information on any other sporting event was unavailable. It is likely that the Super Bowl is the only event which correlates with the highest number of food deliveries in the U.S., while other sporting events do not cross any specific milestone and may contribute to an overall food consumption trend, including restaurant visits, dining in, eating at the event, food delivery, ordering take out, etc.

Methodology:

To find the information on at least one more sporting event that correlates with the highest number of food deliveries in the U.S., we attempted the following strategies:

Our research began by examining food delivery industry reports from PRNewswire, PMQ Pizza Magazine, Restaurant Dive, and others. Unfortunately, we did not find any pre-compiled information on rankings of which sporting events correlate with the highest number of food deliveries. We looked for different contests (i.e., Daytona 500, The Masters Golf Tournament, Boston Marathon, Indianapolis 500, The U.S. Open (Tennis), SuperBowl event, Kentucky Derby, NFL Draft, among others) and cross-referenced them to meal deliveries. Here, we found information on the Super Bowl and food deliveries from Rakuten Intelligence and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, apart from the Super Bowl, no information on other sporting events was available.

We then checked for food delivery case studies across the U.S. to find a particular study that highlighted how overall food delivery increased during a specific sporting event in the U.S. We were hoping to identify at least three to five events through multiple case studies, which could be used to answer the request. We checked for the case studies in portals such as Bikky, Rubby Garbage, E-marketer, Kejo Solutions, Forbes, among others, as these portals usually contain evaluations on U.S. food deliveries. However, the barrier here was that we found case studies with unrelated subjects. These studies mostly addressed the estimated delivery time, food preparation time, average cost to companies for transport during the delivery, the popularity of food delivery, etc. None of them had any relevant data, and hence this strategy did not yield any results.

Next, we looked for specific delivery players such as GrubHub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats, among others. We wanted to observe their annual reports, fact sheets, and other publications (blogs, articles, etc) to check if they released any reports relevant to their sales during the sports season. We considered this approach as industry players often mention their sales highlights connected to a recent event that boosted their revenue. However, none of them provided any insights on food deliveries during sporting events. No such data was available that we could use or present as an alternative metric to rank the sporting event or the number of food deliveries.
Finally, we searched for the revenue of popular fast-food chains prominent with deliveries such as Domino's Pizza, Pizza Hut, Applebees, Papa John’s, Chipotle, and other similar fast-casual establishments. We aimed to determine if they specified any sporting event impacting their revenue via food delivery orders. With this strategy, we found statistical information like the quantity of pizza, hot wings, beer, etc., possibly consumed during the Super Bowl, and the estimated number of slices that Pizza Hut and Domino's are expected to sell during the event. However, no other information specific to any other sporting event was available. It was through this strategy that we determined that the Super Bowl is an event that correlates with the highest number of food deliveries in the U.S.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Sports and Food Delivery, Pt 3

While the most popular foods among soccer fans could not be located, we were able to determine that in 2019, the most popular foods to cook for football parties were Oven Burgers, Oven-baked Meatball Sandwich, My Texas Chill, and Cheesy Bacon Bombs. Additionally, baseball fans prefer hot dogs, sausages, peanuts, and beer while the KU basketball fans prefer to eat quesadillas, fried rice, jalapeno poppers, and chicken pitas, among other spicy foods that bring "luck" during the game.

FOOTBALL

  • Football party foods include dips, appetizers, and finger foods, among other options.
  • According to Just a Pinch, in 2019 the most popular football party foods among American home-cooks, were the Oven Burger, Oven-baked Meatball Sandwich, My Texas Chill, and the Cheesy Bacon Bombs.
  • Just a Pinch combined a proprietary algorithm with data from millions of cloud-based recipe boxes to determine America's most saved, viewed, shared, rated, and cooked football party food recipes by home-cooks.
  • During 2016, the football-related foods that Americans bought the most were potato chips, soda, wings, and pizza.
  • In 2016, Doritos was the most popular packed salty food, with a 79% preference among the surveyed football enthusiasts, it was followed by Lay’s and Tostitos with 67% each.
  • In terms of delivery pattern, 58% of the fans expected to pick up takeout food, and 51% ordered food for delivery.

BASEBALL

  • The most popular foods for all baseball fans at Major League Baseball (MLB) parks are hot dogs and sausages.
  • Additionally, according to a study conducted by Oracle among American baseball fans, "a ballgame wouldn’t be a ballgame without peanuts, hot dogs, and beer."

BASKETBALL

  • The most popular food the fans of KU's basketball team eat during winning days is quesadillas.
  • On winning days, KU fans ordered 212% more quesadillas than on losing game days.
  • Fried rice, jalapeno poppers, and chicken pitas were also ordered 87% more on winning days than on losing days by KU basketball teams.
  • Another foods considered to be “lucky” by the KU fans, starting with the most relevant one, are chili cheese fries, hot and sour soup, General Tso’s chicken, boneless wings, garlic naan, and chicken tikka masala.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

During our research, we were unable to find the most popular foods for soccer fans. For football, baseball, and basketball the information was often focused on the spectator attending a game live and not the ones watching outside the stadium.

To find out foods that are ordered for delivery/take-out and those eaten at home, as the request focused on the customer segment consisting of sporting spectators, we began by looking into sources that covered sports news like Bleacher Report, SB Nation, Sporting News, NBC Sports, MSNBC, NFL, and CBS Sports, among others. Our idea was to find articles, studies, or surveys that covered the most popular foods to eat while watching a football, baseball, basketball, and soccer game at home. Although we found some articles related to the topic, most reports focused on live spectators on specific event days, like the Superbowl. Moreover, presumably owing to the lack of popularity of soccer in the US compared to the other games, there was no study done on soccer alone.

As our next step, we looked through reports published by online food-delivery platforms like Grubhub, Ubereats, Eat24, and Delivery to find the most ordered/delivered food during major sporting events like the NBA, MLS, NFL, or MLB games. Although Grubhub had information about the delivery volume and request frequency of the most popular foods during important sporting events, the report focused on one specific day, like the Superbowl. Also, there was no information about soccer. Since the orders of one specific day cannot be extrapolated as the most popular for fans throughout the year, this information was not useful.

Finally, we tried to locate surveys conducted by major sporting associations in the US focused on attracting food sponsors and delivery companies through their viewers' preferences. Although the MLB had a report with that focus, the information was about the sales on MLB Park during a specific event day and didn't have any comprehensive trend or pattern for the rest of the year.

Owing to these limitations and challenges, we determined that the information about soccer was not available. However, we provided the information available for the food preferences of football, baseball, and basketball fans.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03
Quotes
  • "Heading into the heart of the 2019 football playoffs, JustAPinch.com researched the football party foods (dips, appetizers, finger foods, etc.) most popular with America's home cooks. JustAPinch.com used a proprietary algorithm and data from millions of cloud-based recipe boxes to find the most saved, viewed, shared, rated, and cooked football party food recipes from America's home cooks."
  • "You'll find plenty of cheesy, bacon-y foods on the list, but there are some interesting trends emerging as well, including creative and/or healthy spins on traditional foods like baked chicken wings, BLT pasta salad, veggie cream cheese roll-ups, and jalapeño popper wontons."
  • "Internet search traffic for recipes only highlights viewing trends, but when millions of home cooks directly engage with and ultimately save a recipe in their own personal recipe box, it demonstrates a purposeful intent to cook. This gives real insight into the recipes that are being viewed, shopped for and actually cooked in these home kitchens, and these recipes are representative of the type of football party foods being cooked across the country."
Quotes
  • "And for retailers and brands, where there’s football, there’s football-related spending: potato chips, soda, wings, pizza, plasticware, coolers, charcoal, fan gear, and the like. Americans spent over $15 billion last year for the Super Bowl alone"
  • "Among packaged salty snacks, Doritos (79%) was the real fan favorite in our survey, with Lay’s (67%) and Tostitos (67%) also making strong showings."
  • "58% of fans expect to pick up takeout, and 51% order food for delivery, when gearing up for big games this fall."
Quotes
  • "When it comes to what baseball fans eat at Major League Baseball (MLB) parks, the top dogs for well over a century have been hot dogs and sausages—and they will once again reign supreme in 2019. According to a survey by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC), MLB fans are expected to consume about 18.3 million hot dogs and nearly four million sausages in 2019."
  • "According to the NHDSC website (hot-dog.org), the Fenway Frank is one of the most popular hot dogs in baseball and the Red Sox are among the top sausage sellers with the Italian sausage being most popular. Fenway Franks come steamed, grilled or rolled and wedged inside a classic New England-style bun."
  • "While it might not take the sting out of two straight World Series losses, the Los Angeles Dodgers will still top the big leagues wiener-wise, with projected sales of 2.7 million hot dogs at Dodger Stadium. America's "Second City" is a distant runner-up, with 1.2 million hot dogs waiting to be consumed at the Chicago Cubs' friendly confines of Wrigley Field."
  • "The Dodgers' rivals up the coast take this year's sausage crown as San Francisco Giants fans are expected to polish off 450,000 sausages, with Cubs fans not far behind at 400,000. As in past years, the Brewers' Miller Park is the sole MLB venue where sausage sales will outpace hot dogs."
Quotes
  • "A ballgame wouldn’t be a ballgame without peanuts, hot dogs and beer. In fact, according to a study that we’ll be publishing shortly:"
  • "72% of US sports fans always or usually purchase food at games"
  • "$42 is the average amount that each fan spends per game – higher than any other country that we surveyed"
Quotes
  • "Quesadillas were far and away the most popular food devoured on winning days — ordered a whopping 212 percent more on those days than on losing game days."
  • "Fried rice, jalapeno poppers and chicken pitas were all ordered 87 percent more on winning days than losing days"
  • "Other food that turned out to be “lucky” for the Jayhawks in descending order, were chili cheese fries, hot and sour soup, General Tso’s chicken, boneless wings, garlic naan and chicken tikka masala."