The Super Bowl means a lot of different things to millions of Americans, with some sources saying that only 60 percent of Super Bowl viewers are actual football fans. It seems as though there are many for whom the chicken wing is even more important than the pigskin — this year for instance, Americans were predicted to eat 1.3 billion chicken wings over the Super Bowl weekend! A feast of that magnitude could only be dreamed of in the halls of Valhalla.

Wings aren’t the only consumer food product that generates a major sales boost from the yearly ritual. In 2015, refrigerated dips saw the largest gains at 47 percent gains over typical sales, while napkins saw more modest gains at 10 percent above average. Surprisingly, craft beer, which has been in the spotlight for some time, had almost no mention. That is unless you count the Anheuser-Busch Shock Top commercial.

Although this splurging may swell our bellies, it obviously also swells those pockets waiting to fill the huge demand. In fact, consumer spending has continued to rise considerably for the all American weekend. For Super Bowl 41 (2007) consumer spending was $8.71 billion for the weekend, but in 2016 consumer spending nearly doubled that at $15.53 billion.

This once-a-year event generates enormous revenues across the board (with 30-second ads selling for as much as $5 million), which just goes to show that timing is everything.

With so many businesses seeing cyclical work — accounting included — I have seen that many companies need to plan far in advance to weather the green waves. During my work as an auditor, I have noticed that food production and sales are a particularly difficult market to plan timing. For example, spoilage on food is much quicker than other consumer products. Operations are more difficult to plan to meet demand as supply can be fickle, and the freshness of ingredients, temperament.

I have seen that getting a solid hold on inventory costing measures will make sure that big orders aren’t taken on without the proper production management in place, which can result in unusable or wasted product.

Additionally, I have witnessed that higher demand can also lead to higher supply costs. Producers should carefully analyze how any additional materials costs affect their margins in order to stay profitable.

Lastly, keeping good handle on your costs can help save you more money in the long run by applying for various tax credits. One of the most popular at the moment include research and development credits, which sound as if they apply to companies in the tech industry but can be applied to numerous costs including recipe development, new production lines and the labor which goes along with this. Keeping good records and costing can help to easily recall this information when tax time looms.

Overall, with great entertainment comes great opportunity to provide, and even if you can’t reach the 112 million Super Bowl viewers, you could always try your luck at the Puppy Bowl.

Alexander Brown
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Alexander Brown

CATEGORIES CPA Food Bites,

Alexander Brown, CPA, is a supervising senior associate auditor with over five years of experience. Alexander is an expert in two niches with Green Hasson Janks, specializing in both childcare and family services and food and beverage clients. Alexander’s other experience includes California…Learn More