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WASHINGTON -- Supermarkets may score a touchdown in Super Bowl-related sales this year. Consumers plan on spending an average of $56.04 on Super Bowl-related merchandise this year, up from last year's $36.78, according to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association's (RAMA) 2007 Super Bowl Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. Total spending for the Feb. 4 Super Bowl is expected to reach $8.7 billion.
"The Super Bowl is more than just a game -- it's a chance for companies to attract new customers by being creative, and often outlandish, in their advertisements," noted RAMA executive director Mike Gatti. "After an incredibly promotional holiday season, consumers can expect big sales on Super Bowl-related merchandise until game day."
According to the survey, 69.7 percent of consumers plan to celebrate the Super Bowl, compared with 65.9 percent last year. Of those who will be celebrating, 69.3 percent will be purchasing food and beverages and 6.3 percent will buy team apparel and accessories. In anticipation of the big day, 1.3 million consumers plan to buy new furniture, including new home entertainment centers.
The survey also found that more people plan on throwing a party this year than last year (12.8 percent vs. 9.8 percent), and more people will be attending those parties (26.8 percent vs. 24.3 percent in 2006). Additionally, 9.2 million people plan to watch the game from a restaurant or bar.
"The interest in this year's Super Bowl is higher than in many other years, so retailers have an opportunity to win big with sales of electronics, team apparel, and food," said Phil Rist, v.p. of strategy at BIGresearch.
While Americans say the game itself is still the most important part of the Super Bowl (32.1 percent), more than 40 million consumers (18.1 percent) said they will tune in because of the commercials. The 18-24 (22.2 percent) and 25-34 (26.3 percent) -year-old age groups will be most likely to pay attention to the advertisements, compared with last year, when 18.5 percent and 19.3 percent, respectively, said the commercials were most important.