Nielsen: On-Premise Retailers Suffer on Super Bowl Sunday as Fans Stay Home

New data from market research firm Nielsen CGA suggests that on-premise food and drink sales declined significantly on Super Bowl Sunday.

The firm — which compared sales data from February 4 and January 28 — found that U.S. bars and restaurants “saw an average sales drop around a third” on the day of the big game.

“Overall, Super Bowl Sunday 2018 was a tough trading day for U.S. bars and restaurants,” said Scott Elliott, senior vice president of Nielsen CGA.

Casual dining establishments were hit hardest, with sales dropping 37 percent, according to Nielsen. Sales at neighborhood bars also dipped 13 percent, the firm said.

The declines were even worse in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, home to the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles – the two teams playing on February 4. Sales in those markets plummeted 50 percent and 62 percent, respectively.

But that doesn’t mean that football fans weren’t tossing a couple cold ones back during the game. Nielsen’s off-premise data showed that sales of beer, cider, and flavored malt beverages increased 5.4 percent during the week leading up to the Super Bowl.

And at “dedicated sports bars,” sales increased 52 percent on Super Bowl Sunday, while sales at “Irish pubs” increased 22 percent, Nielsen said.

“Areas of opportunities definitely do exist for some types of venues and day parts,” Elliott added.

Meanwhile, Beerboard, the management platform behind digital menu displays at retailers such as Buffalo Wild Wings and World of Beer, found that on-premise beer consumption at its clients’ locations in Philadelphia was up 21.6 percent in 2018 versus 2017. In New England, beer consumption spiked 11 percent on game day.

Beerboard, which tracks sales across 50,000 draft lines, also found that Guinness was the most poured beer in New England. In Philadelphia, meanwhile, Miller Lite was the fan favorite.

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