The Importance of Tailgating Food And How Retailers Can Take Advantage of Tailgate Season
Here in South Carolina, the importance tailgating at sporting events cannot be understated. Whether you are a Clemson Tiger, a South Carolina Gamecock, it’s hard to beat sitting out on a temperate Autumn day with a group of friends, and maybe some rivals. Tailgating brings friends and families together and reunites old colleagues, roommates and faces you haven’t seen in years. Especially in the south, tailgating is the epicenter of game day, with friendly competition and shared food and experiences.
We, of course, think about the food and the shared experience around a tailgate spread. What sets tailgating apart from traditional gatherings is the importance of sharing, and bringing a dish that gets people asking, “Who brought the the spinach dip? This is great!” Research is showing that party dips and spreads are growing at breakneck pace, and looking through any list of “top tailgate recipes,” you’ll find one thing in common – shareable dishes.
So, how can retailers best take advantage of tailgate season?
It starts with carrying a wide variety of shareable dips and spreads, as many of these products lend themselves well to endcap displays, especially around the Super Bowl. Tailgating dips promote well alongside other tailgate goodies, store sections devoted to parties, or alongside other game day treats.
Here are some tips on helping tailgating fare fly off the shelves:
- Repackage multiple dips into a multi-pack (think a veggie tray layout) as a great way to get customers trying new shareable products and allows for folks with different tastes in food to all be satisfied.
- Many of the fan favorites will be drastically different whether served hot or cold, so packaging many of the dip items in packages that can heated is also important.
- Pair dips/spreads with tortilla chip promotions to drive incremental sales beyond the dips and spreads themselves.
- On game day, club-sized dips and spreads are in high demand, as the larger sizes are immediate grab-and-go items for a party or tailgate. Through research from Mintel, value is a key factor in decision-making, further reinforcing sales in club stores for dips and spreads.
- Having meat and non-meat items in the lineup is becoming more and more important to the various people you’ll find at your tailgate.
The social aspect of sharing
Tailgating in its very nature is social, and as your customers are socializing, give them some opportunities to share on social media. Game day themed hashtags are a great way for customers to share your product, and is a big opportunity for tailgating customer engagement. Also be sure to employ social media posts seeking community feedback, surveys, digital advertising, and community involvement to become a part of the tailgating scene. Find ways to engage with your audience as they enjoy your product, and you’ll be a part of game day, too!