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2 Market Segmentation Examples: Super Bowl Parties & At-Home Entertaining

2 Market Segmentation Examples: Super Bowl Parties & At-Home Entertaining

Trends & Statistics Give Insight on 2024 Get-Togethers

Examining these two related, yet different market segmentation examples of Super Bowl parties and At-Home Entertaining provides insight into segments that are important to several different industries, including food and beverage, housewares, streaming and more.

Market Segmentation Example #1:
Super Bowl Parties

Will Super Bowl Parties help jump start the year and reverse declines in at-home entertaining?

From 2013 to 2022, the number of people planning to host a Super Bowl party remained fairly steady, from a low of 13% in 2021 to a high of 19% in 2020. Another 20 to 27% of people planned to attend a Super Bowl party as guests, although this number dipped to 12% in 2021, likely due to COVID concerns.  

Consistent with these long term levels, around 20% of adults planned to throw a Super Bowl party in 2023.   Based on this, we’d expect around 15 to 20% of consumers to throw a Super Bowl party in 2024 and another 20 to 27% to attend.    

That means that around 35% to 47% of adult consumers will engage in a Super Bowl party in 2024 either as hosts or guests.  

2 Market Segmentation Examples: Super Bowl Parties & At-Home Entertaining

Who is hosting vs. going to Super Bowl parties? What are the market segment examples?

The demographic groups who are most likely to host Super Bowl watch parties are parents with children under 18 (26%) and members of Gen Z (24%). Gen Z were born 1995 to 2012, making the young adult members of this group 18-29 today.   

These market segmentation examples are above-average Super Bowl spenders, with parents of children under 18 spending $204, and Millennials spending $176. 

Consumers with higher household income ($100,000) are planning to spend the most on the game (average of $246). Generally, consumers with higher household income are more likely to entertain.

There are at least three different customer segmentationations of party hosts. 

  1. Market Segmentationation Example: Party Maximalist: These consumers enjoy hosting, and are more likely to host frequently, with more extensive menus. “You delight in creating a tablescape, curating a playlist, and cooking enough food to send everyone home with leftovers.”
  2. Market Segmentationation Example: First Timers: These are novice hosts, typically young adults, who may opt for a simpler menu. “You don’t even have a dining table and are hosting for the first time.”
  3. Market Segmentationation Example: Family Pleasers: This consumer prefers tried-and-true party favorites that appeal to both adults and children and are easy to prepare and eat (e.g., pigs in a blanket or wings).

Bon Appetit provides more insight into the two ends of the continuum from the enthusiast to the novice.

2 Market Segmentation Examples: Super Bowl Parties & At-Home Entertaining

What are the activities at the Super Bowl party?

Of course, the main attraction of Super Bowl parties is watching the Super Bowl, including the game itself, the advertisements and the half-time show. 

Super Bowl hosts are also including activities for non-sports fans, including modern board games like Azul, Splendor, Dominion, Catan or Pandemic as well as group party games from Jackbox like TeeKO.  

Since my household is into cooking and gaming, our Super Bowl parties typically find more guests socializing and talking or playing games instead of closely following the Super Bowl.  As a marketing professional, I am interested in watching the Super Bowl advertising but can’t always attend to the commercials while hosting.

What’s the size of the Super Bowl Market (spending) and major categories of spending?

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has estimated Super Bowl spending for many years, from 2007 to 2023. It’s generally recorded a long upward trend.  In 2023, Super Bowl spending was $16.5 billion, up from $13.9 billion in 2021 (the low in recent years) and $14.6 billion in 2022.  Still, 2023 was lower than 2019, which saw $17.2 billion. Putting the data together, and assuming the participation numbers are correct, 2024 spending should surpass 2019 or at least equal it.

NRF data finds that food and beverages are the most popular Super Bowl purchases at 79%, followed by team apparel (12%), TVs (10%), decorations (7%) and furniture (7%).  Various sources offer ways to watch the Super Bowl for free, or subscribe to a streaming service.

Lending Tree also finds that food and beverage is the top category of Super Bowl spending at 66% of consumers.  Other spending categories include clothing or accessories (17%), decorations (12%), streaming subscriptions for game access (10%) and electronic equipment like speakers or projectors (7%).

Betting on the game is also popular, with 40% of consumers saying they planned to bet in 2023, with most bets (63%) under $100.

Because of food price inflation, we suspect less (or lower quality) food and beverage is being served at Super Bowl parties today than in the past. For several years between 2013 and 2019, food inflation was flat or rose 2%.  However, with the high food inflation of 6.3% in 2021 and 10.4% in 2022, and the fact that Super Bowl 2023 spending is still lower than 2019 suggests that less food and beverages were purchased in 2023 compared with 2019.

What types of foods and beverages are being enjoyed at Super Bowl parties?

While nonalcoholic drinks (43%) and water (41%) are frequently enjoyed at Super Bowl parties, the most popular alcoholic drink by far is beer at 41%. Cocktails (20%) and wine (14%) are much less popular.

“Americans spend around $1.3 billion on beer in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. But that’s not it. Americans also spend, on average, another $1b on beer during the Sunday game, solidifying the long-established assumption that ‘sports equals beer’ in the U.S.”

Most popular Super Bowl foods by Google search in 2023 are reported as:

  1. Meatballs
  2. Guacamole
  3. Chips and salsa
  4. Tater tots
  5. Chili
  6. Wings
  7. Hummus
  8. Nachos
  9. Pigs in a blanket
  10. Spinach artichoke dip

Another list of popular Super Bowl party foods include:

Looking over these lists of popular items, there is a lot of overlap with wings, meatballs, pigs in a blanket, chili, nachos and dips highly ranked.   Most aren’t too difficult to prepare and appeal to both children and adults.

Most of these easy favorite foods are handheld and readily eaten while standing or playing a game.   Most don’t require a spoon (the chili does), fork or knife to eat. These easy favorite foods will be just right for the Family Pleaser segment and the simpler items are also a good fit for First Timers. Retailers are prepared. These samples from Sam’s Club’s most recent Instant Savings mailer are designed to appeal to our market segmentation examples.

2 Market Segmentation Examples: Super Bowl Parties & At-Home Entertaining
2 Market Segmentation Examples: Super Bowl Parties & At-Home Entertaining

Led by my foodie husband, who is a Party Maximalist, our Super Bowl party menu will feature gumbo that is customized for each guest with their choice of seafood and sliders. These dishes have been a hit for us in previous Super Bowl parties.   Still in consideration are meatballs or wings and French onion soup.  Over the years, we’ve found guests bring a lot of desserts, so we’ve cut back on those to avoid an oversupply.

Market Segmentation Example #2:
At-Home Entertaining

Entertaining trends post pandemic: Who is entertaining at home? What are the market segmentation examples?

Most Americans entertain at least one group in a year. The trend is for more casual get-togethers with smaller groups. 

For instance, our Southern California household shifted in 2023 to more pop-up weeknight friend dinners (with four to seven people), and less planned weekend parties (with more than 10 people).

Around two-thirds (65%) of US consumers over the age of 18 hosted a gathering in 2023.   The remaining one-third did not host. 

Higher-income consumers ($100,000+) are more likely to entertain at 73%, while middle-income consumers ($50,000 to $99,999) are average at 67%, and lower-income consumers (under $49,000) are less likely to entertain, at 49%. 

Is at-home entertaining declining?

This is a hard question to answer, with some data suggesting a decline in participation and fewer people engaging in entertaining.

A pre-pandemic study found 13% of Americans never entertain.  In 2023, that the number has risen to 35%. Comparing this information suggests that more than twice as many people never entertain today compared with pre-pandemic.   The people who dropped out were likely less frequent entertainers, who account for less spending, but still, this is a drop in the incidence of 169%.

When it comes to at-home entertaining, the longer-term trend from 1975 to 2003 was a reduction in the number of people who host 12 times a year or at least once a month, whether for dinner parties or more casual entertaining.    

2 Market Segmentation Examples: Super Bowl Parties & At-Home Entertaining

Could at-home entertaining be increasing among those who entertain? (even though fewer are entertaining?)

For the two-thirds that hosted at least once a year in 2023, most (53%) plan to maintain their current frequency of entertaining, while 26% plan to entertain more frequently and 16% less frequently (5% aren’t sure).  That means the number who plan to entertain more frequently outweighs those entertaining less frequently, suggesting there can be an increase among those who entertain. IHA director of marketing Dawn Evans suggests:

“The pandemic and its economic aftermath scrambled long-established occasion-marking and in-home gathering traditions…consumers have rescheduled and reimagined key life events as they settle into a new groove… Their reinvigorated zest for at-home entertaining shows no signs of abating.

Who are the more frequent at-home entertainers? Why is this “Entertaining Regularist” market segment important?

Similar to Super Bowl party hosting demographics, younger consumers ages 18-34 are more likely to anticipate hosting more often at 37% (index of 142), followed by 35–44-year-olds at 34% (index of 130).  Baby Boomers expect to keep their current frequency of entertaining.

Another study found a reduction in entertaining frequency with age.

More than a third (37%) of those in their twenties say they entertain guests either daily or weekly, falling to 34% for those in their thirties, 18% for those in their forties, and only 5% for those in their fifties and over sixty.”

There is a market segmentation example of people who host more frequently, as often as once a month, who can be called “Entertaining Regularists.”  Some of them are Party Maximalists, while others are Family Pleasers.  By definition, there are few or no First Timers in the group who hosts regularly. A friend of mine gives personal insight into this segment:

“We entertain several times a month.  And we also have friends who have been coming to our home for years, and we’ve never been invited to their homes, as they don’t entertain.”

If Entertaining Regularists who entertain once a month are the top 10% of those who entertain, then they are around 6.5% of adults. Even if they are the top 20%, that represents just 13% of adults, nowhere close to the 50% level.  

Entertaining Regularists are the most important market segment because they spend the most on entertaining and make it a priority for their discretionary dollars. 

What type of entertaining at-home is on trend?

Most entertaining is casual (57%), including happy hours and informal dinners. The style is relaxed, with buffet and self-service accounting for half of the occasions, while sit-down meals are 39%.

Most gatherings are small, with 73% of consumers planning more intimate gatherings of 10 or fewer people. Leftovers are sent home with guests 56% of the time, “creating a post event touchpoint.”

All of these trends resonate in our household; we regularly send guests home with leftovers, and we are doing informal dinners with smaller group sizes.   At the same time, we are looking forward to the larger Super Bowl party, complete with gumbo, Dominion and TeeKO.

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