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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Super Bowl fans fill their bowls with super snacks

Sunday, February 6, 2005

Trey Wood, shift manager at a local pizza delivery/carry-out business, places an order of hot wings in the oven.
SIKESTON -- Let's face it. When it comes to the Super Bowl, the toughest decision this year isn't deciding whether to bet on the New England Patriots or the Philadelphia Eagles -- it's whether or not to choose hot wings over pepperoni pizza.

While today's event is known for its entertainment, it also wouldn't be complete without the food and drinks. The National Retail Federation estimates consumers will spend $5.6 billion for the Super Bowl, and a big chunk of that money can be expected to go to the food and beverage industry.

Gayle Naile, bakery/deli manager at Sikeston Marketplace, isn't surprised. Over the past few days and past Super Bowls, she has witnessed countless purchases of finger foods for the big game.

But of everything offered, Naile said it's the hot wings trays that are requested the most.

"We do hot wings, and they're actually edible. They're not where you can't eat them," Naile said.

Mike Nunn, broil cook at Applebee's Bar and Grill in Sikeston, said sales typically double for chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday. It's the hot and barbecue bone-in wings that are favorites over the mild and boneless chicken wings, he said.

"A lot of people get them to go (on Super Bowl Sunday) -- a lot more than a regular Sunday," Nunn said. Super Bowl Sunday is also one of the busiest, if not the busiest, days in the pizza industry.

Teresa Braden, manager at Domino's Pizza in Sikeston, noted pepperoni pizza is by far the No. 1 requested topping on Super Bowl Sunday followed by sausage, hamburger and supreme.

"It's a big delivery day for us and we do very little carry out. Everybody wants to sit at home in front of the TV so they have us deliver," Braden laughed.

Domino's has about 10 delivery drivers and a lot of inside people working to make the pizzas and other sides. On a regular Sunday about five or six drivers are scheduled. "Hot and barbecue wings are also popular, but the hot wings are definitely more popular," Braden said. "We also have Chicken Kickers, which are boneless and hot and spicy. And they sell pretty good."

Braden estimated Dominos will sell about 100 more pizzas and about 30 or 40 more hot wing orders on Super Bowl Sunday. Joyce Winchester, owner of Cheers Bar and Grill in Sikeston, said she offers free gumbo and other appetizers on Super Bowl Sunday. In addition Winchester estimated she sells mostly hot wings and on Super Bowl Sunday, she prepares about 50 to 70 pounds of wings, she noted.

"It's not a huge day, but it's bigger than a normal Sunday," Winchester noted.

Even Ryan's Family Steak House in Sikeston is catching onto the football food craze. For the first time, the restaurant is offering carry outs of hot wings, sliced hams and fried chicken for Super Bowl Sunday, according to manager Leona Abernathy.

Jamie Ralph, sales manager of Bob Ralph Distributing Co. Inc. in Sikeston, said the liquor distributor does see an increase in its deliveries the week of the Super Bowl.

"We put extra back stock in the accounts and extra Super Bowl displays for our product," Ralph said.

Although Ralph doesn't have exact statistics, he said, for example, if one store normally sells 10 units of one package a week, then Ralph Distributing may put in 20 units for Super Bowl Sunday, but it varies.

In addition to pizza, hot wings and beer, at Sikeston Marketplace, subs, meat and cheese trays, veggie trays and certain side dishes are popular.

"On the meat trays, people usually get equal ham, turkey and roast beef and three kinds of cheeses," Naile said.

American cheese, sourdough bread, dill and spinach dips, meatballs, cheese balls and even deviled eggs are other top foods among those shopping for their Super Bowl smorgasbord, Naile noted.

"We've got Super Bowl cakes, and we've sold quite a few this year. When there's not a team located here like the (St. Louis) Rams, they just have the emblem of whatever Super Bowl it is on them," Naile explained.

And often times certain foods are substituted for others at the request of shoppers, Naile pointed out. She said: "You just never know what they'll buy."