Sports and Food Delivery

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Sports and Food Delivery, Pt 3

Although there is no information available for popular foods eaten during baseball, basketball or soccer games, there is significant information about football, specifically Super Bowl Sunday. According to GrubHub, cheeseburgers were the most ordered item, while BiteSquad reports ribs as the top order. Pizza Hut delivered 1.5 million pizzas, and the National Chicken Council predicted consumption of 1.38 billion wings.

Popular Foods

  • Grubhub food delivery service reported that the most ordered foods during the final championship game were cheeseburgers, which were 156% more popular than the rest of the year, and chicken nuggets, which were 142% more popular. Other items in the list included BBQ burgers at 128%, potato wedges at 122% and buffalo wings at 121%.
  • BiteSquad is another national food delivery service. Their report of most delivered foods on Super Bowl Sunday, listed in order from the largest to the smallest, showed that ribs were the most ordered food. Following in order were burgers, mozzarella sticks, pizza and cream cheese wontons.
  • Dogonews reported that Superbowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving in the largest food consumption day in the US. Potato and tortilla chips are the top snacks eaten on Super Bowl Sunday.
  • The last game for which data has been collected is 2018.
  • Enough tortilla chips were purchased to reach across the US 2.5 times.
  • Americans consumed 11.2 million pounds of potato chips, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, guacamole made from 79 million avocados, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn, and 3 million pounds of nuts, all while waiting for the game to begin.
  • Pizza Hut delivered 1.5 million pizzas, while Domino estimates they sold 13 million slices, or enough to stretch across 5,000 football fields.
  • In 2019, the prediction from the National Chicken Council was that Americans would consume 1.38 billion wings or about four wings for every person in the United States.
  • Other predictions include 10 million pounds of ribs, 12.5 million pounds of bacon, 14 million hamburgers, as well as an innumerable collection of foot-long subs and hot dogs.
  • A comparison to other delivery days shows that online orders were up 41% from the previous Sunday and up 53% of the prior year's game.
  • Online orders peaked at the start of the game and then dropped quickly.
  • Not just the standard food delivery services saw an increase in the game. Online grocery orders also increased by 5%.
  • Equally, interesting, 7-11 reports a 20% rise in the sales of antacids on the day after the game.

Research Strategy

We defined our search as finding foods that are eaten at home during a sporting event. In other words, we excluded foods eaten at the game, either at a tailgate party or inside the stadium, and focused on meals, fast food, snacks and other groceries eaten at home.

We began our research looking through food industry publications and press releases. Our goal was to find any articles which might have collated the number of deliveries during any given sports event, but especially for football, basketball, baseball and soccer. We found an article on how restaurants can leverage third party delivery services, and articles about the Super Bowl, but nothing else.

We then identified the most popular delivery services in the US. These included GrubHub, UberEats, Doordash, Pizza Hut and Dominoes. We searched their web sites, press releases and annual reports for information on food delivery linked to sport events. We found information from multiple sources on SuperBowl food — both at home consumption and deliveries. We found some info on deliveries during March Madness but did not find any information on any other sport.

We also looked at online grocery delivery statistics, hoping to find some quantitative data on the food purchased for sports events. Again we found information on Super Bowl Sunday but nothing on any other sports. Rakuten Intelligence monitors online purchases in almost real-time and compiles the data. It provides item-level data from all retailers and brands, over time by demographics and geography. This company provided interesting information for Super Bowl Sunday, but nothing for any other sports.