Food Companies: We're Ready for the Super Bowl
Special to CNBC.com
If man (and woman) has got to eat, the Super Bowl represents to food companies what Christmas is to retailers — a major percentage of sales.
So with the National Football League's championship game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots approaching, some of the biggest restaurants and food makers told CNBC Friday they're on their game, and ready to help America chow down.
"This is one of my favorite weekends of the year, and Super Bowl Sunday is certainly one of our biggest days both in restaurant and for takeout sales," said Sally Smith, CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings. The chain sold more than 6 million wings during last year's Super Bowl.
Its Super Bowl Sunday sales last year were 113 percent higher than on any given Sunday, with 75 percent coming from food and 25 percent from alcohol, mainly beer, Smith said.
For those who prefer to party at home, chips and dips are almost guaranteed to be on the table.
That's why Frito-Lay, a unit of PepsiCo, is ramping up production of its signature Doritos chips by 18 million pounds, said Ann Mukherjee, chief marketing officer.
"Doritos are like cake and birthday parties. It's America. People love to party," she said in a separate CNBC interview. "This is the time to get creative, and chips are the base to make that happen."
Besides Doritos, Frito-Lay makes Lays potato chips, Tostitos and a wide variety of salsas and dips you can wash down with Pepsi beverages, which Mukherjee called "a match made in heaven."
And are you ready for some pizza? Domino's is ready for you, said CEO Patrick Doyle. The company hopes to sell more than 1.4 million pizzas Sunday, an 80 percent increase over average days.
"People order early and often," he said, and Domino's trains for the event just like the pros do.
"It's a lot of training," he told CNBC. "You have to have the team organized. Everyone needs to know their position in the store. We work on this a month beforehand to make sure we're getting it right" because the orders come in fast and furious.
The company will have 50 techs monitoring the online ordering system, which took in 170,000 orders during last year's game, he said.
"It's kind of an athletic event for us, too," he said. "It's a lot of fun."