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Restaurateur insight: What do the football fans in your neighborhood want most?

If you had to pick, would you choose Fritos and vodka or Cheetos and Dr. Pepper? Careful, the way you answer might very well belie which college football team you're rooting for this season. 

That is according to shopper intelligence and personalized engagement provider, Catalina, which tapped its shopper history database of more than 505 million transactions to ascertain which college's fans prefer which types of game-day snacks, according to a news release. 

The results are not only provocative, but just plain ol' fun and could be helpful to restaurants nationwide in the U.S. who want to be sure they cater to the specific "druthers" of their most prevalent football fan customers. 

In order to come up with some solid connections between type of fan and type of preferred snack, Catalina looked at categories like chips, dips and beverages to identify the most common items in the shopping baskets of specific fan bases pre-game. Here are some of the rivalries and their corresponding competitive crunchies:
Rivalry: Ohio State vs. Michigan

OSU fans watch with tortilla chip in one hand and Diet Coke in the other: OSU fans increased spending for tortilla chips 19 percent, with overall units sold up 15 percent for the week before the game, compared to other weeks. Other accompaniments that showed increases in that time frame include Diet Coke, Bud Light, Tostitos Salsa, Tostitos Scoops Chips and Frank's Original Red Hot Sauce.

Michigan goes for potato chips and Dr. Pepper: Spending on potato chips by these folks went up 9 percent, with overall units up 8 percent in the week before game day. Other favorites include: 
Bud Light, Lay's Wavy Potato Chips, Fritos Jalapeno Cheddar Dip and Heluva Good! Jalapeno Cheddar Dip.

Notre Dame vs. USC

Notre Dame dips their tortilla chips in vodka: These fans increased spend on tortilla chips 5 percent before game day, with a preference shown for Santitas brand, along with Smirnoff Vodka, Fritos, Wholly guacamole and Tostitos Chunky Salsa.

USC invites Sam Adams and chips: USC fans showed a 5 percent increase in potato chip spending in the run-up to the game, particularly Ruffles. These individuals also like Samuel Adams beer, Simply Organic Tostitos Scoops, Homeboy Salsa and Organic Yucatan Guacamole. 

Florida vs. Georgia

Gator fans chomp down on tortilla chips, Slim Jims and Bud Light Lime: Florida fans really love their tortilla chips pregame, with sales up a whopping 24 percent in the week before this rivalry. They tend to wash those down with the distinctively sunnier Bud Light Lime, as well as Dr. Pepper and also like 
Doritos, Slim Jims and Crunchy Cheetos.  

Georgia supporters get a little "Wicked." Aside from a clear preference for potato chips (sales up 39 percent pre-game week), Georgia fans loved Redd's Wicked Ale, along with the tamer, Diet Coke, Sabra hummus, Fritos Scoops Corn Chips and Tostitos Chunky Salsa. 


Topics: Customer Service / Experience, Food & Beverage, Hot Products, Menu Boards, Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

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