Super Bowl 51 is set to kick off Sunday. An epic matchup between the four-time Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. While many of us were hoping to see a Kansas City Chiefs matchup this year, most of us will view or attend what has been dubbed the, “second largest eating holiday in the U.S.” 

Americans have embraced Super Bowl Sunday as a day to eat, drink and cheer on their favorite team with little heed to calories or fat. An average of 6,000 calories, it turns out. Yowza, that’s a whole lot of snacking going on for the estimated 112 million viewers who will over a four hour period analyze not only the game but will eat and drink their way through a slew of highly anticipated commercials and a high-tech halftime show. 

So, what exactly are we eating on Super Bowl Sunday? I am sure you can easily name many of the top favorites off the top of your head. But you will probably be flabbergasted by the staggering amounts of food consumed. So here we go, let’s take a quick look at the numbers. Drum roll please.

According to The Daily Meal, pizza ranks supreme at No. 1 with over 4.4 million pizzas ordered on Super Bowl Sunday from the top four delivery chains Over 48 percent of Americans will order some form of takeout on Sunday and about 60 percent if that will be pizza. Despite the fact that October is national pizza month, Super Bowl Sunday reigns supreme as the top pizza sales holiday. 

Following close in ranking in The Daily Meal is chili as the most searched for recipe in the month leading up to the Super Bowl. Perhaps, it’s the winter temps but chili is always a good choice to feed a crowd and to stretch a dollar as the average annual spending on Super Bowl parties is a little over $14 billion. 

No. 3 is chicken wings, my personal favorite, although I am going to preface this with the fact that all of my flock still retain their wings and are valued for their egg-laying abilities only. But, according to the National Chicken Council, Americans will consume 1.33 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday. To put that into perspective, 1.33 billion wings is enough to circle the earth three times. OK, that is a lot of wingless chicken consumption, and with the U.S. population at about 322 million, well, you do the math but suffice it say, everybody is gonna be eating wings.

No. 4 is nachos, in all their glorious forms, especially layered high with guacamole which coincidentally comes in at No. 5. According to the Avocado Board (and yes, there is one) 105 million pounds of avocados will be used on Super Bowl Sunday.  

Staggering amounts of food equates to increased consumer spending and not just among the top five. Consumers will spend about $227 million on chips in contrast to the mere $13 million spent on veggie trays. You know, the baby carrots and broccoli florets are always the last to go, especially when you run low on ranch dip.  

Now let’s address the real elephant, or in this case, Clydesdale in the room. About $1.2 billion will be spent of beer and malt-flavored beverages and yes our beloved Budweiser still ranks in as No. 1 even if they are not featuring a Clydesdale commercial this year. For all the wine lovers out there like myself, $594 million will be spent on wine unless you are lucky to have a husband who makes a lovely home brew. For you serious folks, $503 million will be spent on whiskey, vodka and tequila.

But, for many us, we watch the Super Bowl for the ads that usually include something about the foods we consume during the game, which I find a bit ironic. Did you know that the average 30-second ad will cost a whopping $5 million during Super Bowl 51. I don’t know about you but that is a lot of Doritos and herding of cats (a few memorable favorites, barring all of the Clydesdale ads). In contrast, a 30-second ad in 1967 cost a mere $42,000. We have come a long way and whether good or bad, I’ll let you be the judge of that.  

So, let me say, enjoy the game, the camaraderie and the food and don’t forget the antacids of which sales rise 20 percent the Monday after game. See, a win-win for consumer consumption. 

Seriously, folks, have fun, be safe and go Chiefs in the 2018 Super Bowl.

Rebecca O’Bea and her husband own and operate Arbor Ridge Farm in Leavenworth. She can be found caring for her horses, chickens and bees and usually knee-deep in compost. Follow her blog THE BEE QUEEN at www.bee-queen.com and www.beequeennaturals.com