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    No-Guilt Snacking Is Best Offense for Football Fans

    With the NFL playoffs in full swing and the Super Bowl fast approaching, the majority of football fans say they feel no guilt about snacking down heartily as they watch their favorite teams try to make it to the Super Bowl.

    That’s according to the third annual Supervalu Snack Down Survey by Harris Interactive, which revealed that the majority of respondents readily acknowledge that few, if any, snacks they eat during games would be considered healthy or good for them. The survey also found that 54 percent of fans say they don’t confine their snacking to any special time but will eat throughout the game. Another 12 percent say they start snacking before the game as a warm-up and 9 percent report that “I load up my plate at kickoff.”

    And what will these millions of fans be eating? Their favorites are dips and spreads (32 percent) followed by chicken wings (23 percent), both up slightly in popularity from last year. Tied for third place at 14 percent were pizza and salty snacks such as chips, peanuts, pretzels or popcorn.

    Nearly three-quarters of the fans say they plan to prepare and serve food and snacks to others at their home during the run-up to the Super Bowl and during the big game.

    “As the most-watched televised event in the United States, the Super Bowl has become a big occasion for people to gather together with family and friends to enjoy the action and share food,” said Blaine Bringhurst, Supervalu’s VP of grocery. “Whether fans are looking for some simple ideas to make their offerings healthier or want to spice up their standard game-day fare, our family of stores can help them put together a party menu their guests will remember.”

    Tough economic times aren’t stopping fans from spending on their favorite foods to watch their favorite teams. Seventy-six percent of the fans say they have not changed their snack budgets from last year, while 7 percent plan to spend more.
    Half of hosting fans will spend up to $100 or more on game-day fare, while 38 percent will spend less than $50. As for where to buy their NFL playoff and Super Bowl party foods, the vast majority, nearly 80 percent, say their local supermarket, followed by discount stores, mass merchants or warehouse clubs (43 percent); restaurants, caterers, gourmet food stores or delicatessens (6 percent); and convenience stores (4 percent).

    Fans listed a number of special food traditions associated with their favorite teams, including Chicago-style hot dogs or deep-dish pizza for Bears fans; Philly cheesesteaks for Eagles fans; crab cakes for Baltimore Ravens fans; clam chowder, Boston baked beans or lobster for New England Patriots fans; and cheese, brats and beer for Packers fans.

    While fans from around the country generally stick to simple, easy-to-prepare items, they also have used game-day viewing occasions to experiment with unusual foods, including rattlesnake, fried alligator, cow tongue tacos, fried turkey gizzards, Rocky Mountain oysters and chocolate-covered ants. When considering the occasion, others cited items they’ve eaten or served that aren't typical fare for the event, such as apple slices, macaroni and cheese, and Chinese food.

    Minneapolis-based Supervalu Inc. operates 4,300 stores composed of 1,104 traditional retail stores, including 798 in-store pharmacies; 1,309 hard-discount stores, of which 922 are operated by licensee owners; and 1,900 independent stores serviced primarily by the company's traditional food distribution business.

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