LOS ANGELES - The Green Bay Packers aren’t competing in the Super Bowl this year, but "cheeseheads" still have something to celebrate.
Americans are expected to eat more than 20 million pounds of cheese during the Super Bowl on Sunday, according to Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.
The tremendous cheese feast is enough to fill every NFL field with an enormous cheese board, before even including crackers, charcuterie or other snacks, according to the farmers group. It’s also 1.7 million wheels’ worth of cheese.
Cheesemakers prepared for a surge of sales ahead of the big game. The farmers group said that cheese sales rose 13% in 2020 to record levels amid the pandemic.
"Many of our state’s cheesemakers have added extra shifts and secured extra space to accommodate all the orders – not to mention adapt their businesses to accommodate the sudden jump in online cheese orders from consumers across the country," Kirk Scott, senior vice president of dairy company communications for Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, said in a written statement.
The most popular Super Bowl snacks – or at least the most searched for online – in 28 states include cheese, according to data recently shared by Google Trends. Those snacks include items like cheese balls, nachos, cheeseburger sliders and queso dip.
Suzanne Fanning, chief marketing officer for Wisconsin Cheese and senior vice president for Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, said the group has seen a "huge increase" in searches for game day recipes involving cheese.
"The desire for recipes with cheese – the ultimate comfort food – coupled with the continued craze for charcuterie boards, ensures that cheese will be the real winner of the big game," Fanning said in a written statement.
Cheese isn’t the only food football fans are planning to eat during the game. Experts are expecting to see more snacking overall on Super Bowl Sunday. Frito-Lay announced last month that it was expecting to see an increase in Super Bowl snacking compared to last year as snacking has risen in general during the pandemic. The National Chicken Council has predicted that Americans will eat a record 1.42 billion chicken wings during the game.
Overall, 77% of Super Bowl-related purchases will be food and beverages, according to the National Retail Federation.