Retailers are using next Sunday's Super Bowl to score touchdowns on the sale of crackers, snacks, beer, soft drinks and frozen foods.
Some of the 10 retailers contacted said Super Bowl Sunday's promotional impact is increasing, as scores of armchair quarterbacks rush the stores to stock up for living-room tailgate parties.
"We've been running ads that tie in to the Super Bowl for the last several years, and it is becoming more popular and more important for us every year. Super Bowl Sunday sales are there and we don't want to miss out on them," said LaDonne Craig, procurement director for Buehler's Foods, Jasper, Ind.
Weekend sales build throughout the football season, said Bill Vitulli, vice president of government and community relations at A&P, Montvale, N.J.
"Super Bowl Sunday is just like a regular party and it keeps growing. A lot of the football fans have groups that get together every Sunday at one person's house. Everybody will bring something and they will sit around and watch the games all day," he said.
He said A&P will promote sodas, beer, snacks, crackers and canned cheese, along with the deli trays it usually features. A football theme figures into the chain's circulars and newspaper ads.
"All of the soda and snack vendors seem to want to be in the ads for the Super Bowl. It is one of the most popular holidays because of the potential volume there," said Ron Hunsberger, director of marketing at Clemens Markets, Kulpsville, Pa.
"We are advertising the party-type items for Super Bowl Sunday: drinks, chips, dips, picante sauce, hot wings, etc.," said Peter Jost, buyer for Harp's Food Stores, Springdale, Ark. "We usually
do a fairly good volume with the Super Bowl, but if it is a team that is popular in this area, then more people will celebrate."
D'Agostino Supermarkets, Larchmont, N.Y., devotes the front page of its circular to the Super Bowl. "We're doing deli, and talking about our D'Agostino Premium Fresh Beer and chips. Inside the circular, a portion is devoted to frozen snack and party items, like pizzas," said Mary Moore, director of public affairs.
Frozens will figure prominently in ads for Homeland Stores, Oklahoma City. "We have some great hot specials," said Lisa Sykes, director of public relations. "We have the typical beer, chips, dips and snack crackers, but also frozen pizzas, pizza rolls, Hot Pockets and other quick-to-fix snack items. We have a real hot special on Budweiser beer and a lot of the stores are building huge displays. One store even built a Super Bowl look-a-like stadium out of beer cases," she said.
Terry Stapleton, division director for Sack 'n Save Warehouse Food Stores division of Minyard Food Stores, Coppell, Texas, said he asked Budweiser to build a huge "Bud Bowl Stadium" display made out of Bud cases in the chain's newest unit.
"We'll have a Super Bowl promotional ad and circular. The beer will be featured in stores that carry it at $5.98 for a 12-pack, which is below cost. In the front of the store we also have another display," he said. Craig said Buehler's has an extensive selection of grocery items on sale. "In frozen we've got all Banquet chicken items, Hot Pockets and frozen pizzas, including Totino's and Tombstone. We have a big promotion with Tombstone this week. All items are at reduced price, and are being merchandised together.
"In grocery we have every party food imaginable, from snack crackers to Vlassic olives. The whole Ortega line is on sale because we're trying to run a lot of those items. Mexican food has definitely grown in this market, with salsas growing by leaps and bounds. We're also going to have Chi-Chi's salsas on sale in a tie-in with our private-label tortilla chips, and we're doing demos on them," she said.