Game Day Recipe and Ingredients Trends

I think we can all agree that no matter which team we're rooting for this Super Bowl Sunday, we'll all be giving a big hip-hip-hooray for SNACKS! Game day snacks sit atop the totem pole of snacks, I might add: nachos!? Chicken wings!? Potato skins!? 

This month, we analyzed our recipe and ingredient data to bring you the top trends in game day treats across the Chicory network (that's over 400 recipe sites and includes over 16 million unique monthly users). We know that the Super Bowl is just days away, so quickly incorporating these trends into your Super Bowl recipes might be a challenge, but March Madness is right around the corner...

Game Day Food Trends - Chicory Blog

Top Trending Recipes

The Trend: Not only do we look at which recipes are popular, but we also look at how quickly those recipes rise to the top. In the case of this month's trending recipes, these three skyrocketed in reader popularity--both in terms of how many people looked at the recipe, but also clicked to buy those ingredients with Chicory. Comfort food recipes for feeding a crowd rule Super Bowl menu planning, as do finger foods that are easy to cook in big batches.

The Takeaway: Think about the comfort food recipes that already do well on your site. Have an apple pie that can't be beat? Figure out how to transform that recipe into a hand pie. Or maybe your mashed potatoes are always the hit of the Thanksgiving table. Turn them into croquettes to pass at half-time. Oh, and bonus points for anything readers can set and forget while entertaining guests (think crockpots and slow cookers). 

Game Day Food Trends - Chicory Blog

Top Trending Ingredients

The Trend: Again, passable, bite-sized finger foods take the cake. Stuff slider-sized sandwiches, mushroom caps and zucchini boats with ooey gooey, cheesy fillings. Sports fans don't mind trading a potato skin for a zucchini boat, and they're not afraid of calories when it comes to what's inside that boat. Mayonnaise-y fillings and soft, melty cheeses are much more popular than veggie salsas or quinoa salads.

The Takeaway: Remember that trick you heard about using Greek yogurt as a healthy mayonnaise alternative for your potato salad? FORGET IT. For many folks, big sporting events count as a "cheat day" in terms of diets or calorie counting. A nutritious ingredient swap here or there is OK, as long as those veggies get smothered in a familiar and indulgent sauce of some kind.

Game Day Food Trends - Chicory Blog

Game Day SEO Secrets

The Trend: Unsurprisingly, and on-message with the rest of our findings, game day success on your blog doesn't mean looking for cute or clever solutions. Instead, stick to the classics and use a combination of keywords that readers are guaranteed to search as they prep their parties. "Casseroles" or "bakes" perform well, as do health food buzzwords like "quinoa"--just don't make anything sound too healthy.

The Takeaway: We literally identified a formula to follow. Try it out for yourself for keyword success. Here, we'll take a stab at a few that could work: General Tso's cauliflower bites, veggie-stuffed pizza pockets, Greek yogurt cheesecake cups. See what I mean?

Game Day Food Trends - Chicory Blog

The #1 Game Day Keyword

The Trend: Buffalo EVERYTHING. Bloggers go way beyond chicken and readers gobble those recipes up. To our previous point, the more familiar favorites you can include in the recipe, the better. A big hit, for example, were "crispy Buffalo cheddar potato nachos." 

The Takeaway: You know that "put a bird on it!" sketch from Portlandia? Swap out "bird" for "Buffalo wing sauce" and that's your motto whenever you want some serious traffic come Super Bowl time.

Photo via Fine Dining Lovers