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Super Bowl Spending Increases [POLL/AUDIO]

Are you planning to watch the big game on Sunday? If so, you’ll have the company of more than 179 million others, according to an annual Super Bowl survey conducted by BIGinsight. The massive number is the highest in the survey’s nine-year history; it increased from an estimated 172.5 million viewers last year.

super bowl food
According to an annual survey, the average game watcher is expected to spend more than last year on food, apparel and other items. (Flickr User

Football fans, however, aren’t the only ones excited for Super Bowl Sunday; retailers are rejoicing as well. The survey found the average game watcher will spend $68.54 on food and other items, up from $63.87 last year.

“This year, it seems consumers are in the mood to celebrate, which is good news for retailers who typically see slower online and foot traffic during these months,” said National Retail Federation Vice President Bill Thorne.

Nearly three-quarters of folks watching the game, according to the survey, plan to buy wings, pizza, chips, soda and more for themselves and/or guests. The spending uptick could be due, in part, to a spike in prices at the register. The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week said chicken prices jumped six percent in December, compared to a year ago. The severe summer drought in the Midwest led to a hike in prices for the grains fed to animals such as chickens, which eventually pushed up the price of poultry.

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The poll recorded another record figure when it asked about big ticket purchases. Of those planning to watch the Super Bowl, more than 7.5 million households (7.1%) will buy a new television, compared to 5.1 million last year.

“This year’s Super Bowl could be bigger than ever,” said NRF spokesperson Kathy Grannis.

She said another reason for an expected increase in spending is the fact that the competing teams hail from the popular cities of Baltimore and San Francisco. The survey found a whopping 17 million fans will buy team apparel or accessories, up from 14.8 million for last year’s Giants-Patriots matchup.

Grannis added, “This is one of those few times, like Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day, when people can just get together, have fun, and really just kick back, and maybe even forget about the economy for a night.”

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