Whether fans are watching the Super Bowl at home or heading out for the big game, some food like chicken wings and shrimp will be more economical purchases this year compared to last year, Wells Fargo’s Super Bowl Food report found, though overall food inflation persists.
Overall food prices are above where they were last year, with food inflation up 1.3% for groceries and 5.4% for restaurant and take-out food, the report published Thursday found.
Chicken wings, both frozen and fresh, were among food items with price decreases compared to last year, while beef prices rose.
Fresh chicken wing prices are down 5% and frozen wings are down 11% compared to prices in January 2023, according to the report.
Michael Swanson, Wells Fargo’s chief agricultural economist, said this is not the year to get beef products for Super Bowl celebrations, noting prices have increased for multiple types of beef from this time last year because of supply shortages.
Potato chips are up 5% and tortilla chips are up 6% when compared to the previous year—an increase the report attributes to the rising labor and packing costs.
Swanson suggested folks who want to serve chips at their Super Bowl celebrations stay away from major brand names, which have had some of the bigger pricing increases.
Shoppers who do head to the stores will see the average bag of potato chips costs about $6.20, ground beef at $5.20 a pound and soda at 52 cents a can or $6.24 for a 12-pack, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Shrimp prices are down 6.4% from January 2023 and because of that Swanson said shoppers might want to consider serving up the seafood during their Super Bowl celebrations. Almost all shrimp eaten in the U.S. is imported from either Thailand or Vietnam because of their year-round warm temperatures and the cheap cost of labor, according to Swanson. The countries produced extra shrimp in recent years to deal with demand, then brought a lot of that shrimp to the U.S., Swanson said, leading to lower prices this year. As the wholesale price of shrimp has dropped, retailers have dropped their prices too, Swanson said. Deviled eggs will also be a much cheaper indulgence for this year’s Super Bowl, with egg prices in December down nearly 24% from the same time a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Veggie trays could also be a cheaper option this year, with prices as of December for fresh vegetables down almost 5% from a year earlier, according to federal data.
There’s a stark price difference between the cost of soda in single cans versus two-liter bottles ahead of the Super Bowl, the report found. A 12-ounce canned soft drink is up 4.8% compared to the previous year—meanwhile a two-liter bottle of the same soda is down 0.8%, the report found. This increase in individual canned soda is attributable to a few things, Swanson said: labor and transportation costs have increased as has the price of aluminum and subsequently packing. But Swanson suspects convenience is the biggest contributing factor. “The industry has discovered that they can really charge you for that convenience and that format,” Swanson said, referring to the aluminum cans. Swanson recommended shoppers looking to save some money switch to the two-liter bottles of soda for their Super Bowl celebrations and get some ice and cups.
“Don’t be surprised if we see record spending on this year’s Super Bowl,” Swanson said, noting that there has been job growth and wage growth in the past year to accommodate that spending.
What To Watch For
Super Bowl LVIII takes place in Las Vegas on Feb. 11, featuring the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
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