Break out the face paint, a funny wig or team jersey, football season is here and that means it’s time to tailgate. New research from BJ’s Wholesale Club tackles the question of America’s tailgating habits, showing that for almost half of Americans
(45 percent) tailgating is more important than the game. And 60 percent of us are diehard tailgaters, showing up for the pre-game party rain, sleet, snow or shine.
According to an online survey conducted by BJ’s Wholesale Club of more than 1,000 tailgaters on the East Coast, when it comes to sandwiches, burgers (49 percent) are the clear winner among pre-game partiers, followed by pulled pork (24 percent) and hotdogs (21 percent). And according to the research, the most important item for a tailgate is the cooler and ice (71 percent), followed by the grill (57 percent). The most forgotten items are bug spray (15 percent), with sunscreen (11 percent) and trash bags (10 percent) a close second and third.
“Football fans might be even more passionate about their tailgates than their teams,” said Bari Harlam, executive vice president, marketing and membership at BJ’s Wholesale Club. “For our Members, tailgate parties are a family tradition. BJ’s Wholesale Club offers great value on everything fans need for the perfect tailgate party, whether you’re a Patriots fan craving wings or a Gators fan grilling a pre-game burger.”
ARE YOU A PLANNER OR A MOOCHER? @BJSWHOLESALE SHARES INSIGHTS ON AMERICA’S #TAILGATING HABITS.
But for some tailgating comes with a downside. About 40 percent of fans say a loss by a favorite team affects them all week — but there’s always another tailgate to look forward to.
Key survey findings reveal:
Planner or a moocher?
- Half of tailgaters (50 percent) say they are planners, while two in five (39 percent) prefer to wing it, putting things together at the last minute. Only one in ten (11 percent) consider themselves moochers, just waiting to enjoy what the planners bring.
- Almost half of tailgaters (45 percent) say they would have no problem tailgating and not attending a game.
- Three to four hours before is when over three in five (62 percent) tailgaters start.
Most popular foods
- Overall, appetizers and wings are the favorite foods.
- For over half of tailgaters (56 percent), it’s got to be Buffalo-style wings followed by barbeque at 44 percent.
- Beer is the beverage of choice for 73 percent of tailgaters and almost half say they also need soft drinks/soda (49 percent) and water (48 percent) on hand.
- Thirty-seven percent of tailgaters say they are diehard fans because when their team loses, they feel lost all week.
- Three in five (60 percent) tailgaters throw the football around while over half (53 percent) prefer to play cornhole.
- When it comes to the most enjoyable football games, it’s almost even across the board. One-third (34 percent) find professional football games more fun for tailgating, one-third (33 percent) say college games are more fun and one-third (34 percent) say both are equally as fun!
And finally, when it comes to showing spirit, most tailgaters go with a team jersey (82 percent), while 13 percent choose face paint and five percent pick body paint. Only two percent opt to wear a team.
About the survey
In collaboration with Regina Corso Consulting, BJ’s Wholesale Club surveyed more than 1,000 tailgaters in its 15-state footprint. Participants were adults, 18 and older, with male respondents making up 58% and 42% female. Surveyors live primarily in suburban settings and have achieved a college degree. This survey was conducted between August 2 and 9, 2016.
About BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.
Headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, BJ’s is the leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States. The company currently operates 214 clubs and 130 BJ’s Gas® locations in 15 states.
BJ’s provides a one-stop shopping destination filled with top-quality, leading brands, including its exclusive Wellsley Farms and Berkley Jensen brands, along with USDA Choice meats, premium produce and delicious organics, many in supermarket sizes. BJ’s is also the only major membership warehouse club to accept all manufacturers’ coupons and, for greater convenience, offers the most payment options.
BJ’s is wholly owned by affiliates of Leonard Green & Partners, CVC Capital Partners and its management team