March Madness Snackers: The Why Behind Their Consumer Purchases

As an LSU student during the Shaq days, I have a great fondness for March Madness. A full month of excitement, friendly competition among friends and no shortage of games to watch.

March Madness is also a great reason to enjoy some good drinks and snacks while watching the games with friends and family. Around 20% more beer is sold to keep up with cheering fans and there’s a 24% increase in chicken wing orders during the tournament, according to Wallet Hub. So clearly March Madness is an interesting opportunity for snack and beverage companies.

In my previous blog, I discussed how CPG brands can bring their flat data to life. In this blog, I’ll explore what makes the March Madness beer and salty snacks consumer unique by uncovering insights from over 4M of these sports enthusiasts.

In less than a minute, I built an audience of consumers who regularly drink beer, watch college men’s basketball and purchase salty snacks in Resonate’s consumer intelligence platform.

Starting at a high level I can begin to form a picture of these consumers in my mind’s eye. They are predominately male, although roughly one-third are women.  This group is 21% more likely to be in the 35-44 age bracket vs. any other, yet most don’t have children (58%).  No wonder they have time to watch all these games! 

They focus on maintaining a good image, which I’m sure is put to the test if their team loses! They are driven by the desire to live an exciting life and they like to watch and go to pro sporting events in addition to college basketball. Consumer insights like this have the potential to dramatically impact how well your messaging and creative connects with your target audiences. By knowing what drives their daily decisions, your creative and messaging is able to better speak to those interests and get the attention of your prospects.

Now that I have a decent picture of who these folks are and how to engage with them, I can also develop a 360-degree marketing campaign designed to increase my share of consumption or engage in competitive conquesting. For instance, I see that these consumers are heavy convenience store shoppers, visiting Circle K and Speedway 2-5 times a week. I definitely want to ensure my trade marketing and sales teams have these insights to sell in more inventory, displays and in-store point-of-sale.

I also want to ensure we are well positioned to succeed in the club channel, as these consumers are more likely to shop at Costco or Sam’s. BJ’s online also appeals to a segment of these shoppers, but they account for only 6% of this audience.

During March Madness, retailers would benefit from promoting a variety of beer and snacks to maximize consumer appeal. Specifically, these consumers are twice as likely to buy Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller Lite and Angry Orchard.  To further drive store traffic and increase basket size, I would cross merchandise with leading salty snack brands like Ruffles and Doritos as well as pretzels, cookies or crackers.

Reach out to me to learn more about this segment, your brand’s shoppers, or Resonate’s Human Element Insights, Research and Activation platform at or check out how our platform works.

Categorized as: Blog Page, Consumer Insights

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