National Tailgating Month - Food & Beverage Magazine

Enjoy the taste and convenience of Hormel Foods at tailgating parties.

National Tailgating Month

National Tailgating Month celebrates the time of fun and food before and during a sporting event, especially football, in November. Hormel Foods, a global branded food company known for some of the most iconic and trusted brands in the food industry, recently released some surprising results about how consumers feel about food and tailgating. 

A nationwide survey of 5,000 consumers conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Hormel Foods, found that tailgaters take food, etiquette, and habits very seriously.

“Tailgating remains very popular because it makes the event an entire day of celebration,” explains Dave Anderko, Consumers Insights Lead for Hormel Foods. “Sometimes, people travel to enjoy a game, invest time, and want to enjoy the full day. Everyone is there to have fun and celebrate, even with others tailgating next to them. Even though everyone is having their own party, it is all the parties together that put everyone in a good mood and create the atmosphere for having a fun time. Right before a sporting event, even if the team doesn’t do well, tailgating puts everyone in a happy frame of mind.”

Tailgaters have high expectations when it comes to food choices. In fact, three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents agreed that the food selection can make or break the tailgate. Surprisingly, burgers (66 percent) and hot dogs (56 percent) ranked highest among those polled as the best foods to bring to a tailgate. Also important are portability (58 percent) and ease of cooking (56 percent), ranking high in choosing the perfect tailgate snack, as well as the ability for people to eat with their hands (finger foods, 47 percent). 

“It is all about familiarity. People know how to cook and prepare burgers and hot dogs, even with their own special twists,” says Anderko. “These are foods people are really going to enjoy and easy to prepare on a grill and turn out well since there is not a full kitchen. Almost everyone loves burgers and hot dogs, adding to the celebratory atmosphere.”

When it comes to tailgating -friendly products, Hormel offers Applegate Well Carved™ Burgers, Applegate Organics® Turkey Burgers, nine choices of Applegate Hot Dogs, six varieties of JENNIE-O® Turkey Burgers, JENNIE-O® Jumbo Turkey Franks, and JENNIE-O® Turkey Franks.

As for side dishes, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents are likely to bring their favorite dish, regardless of whether others enjoy it. The versatility (31 percent) of choices in food also ranked high in importance when planning the perfect spread. Survey respondents from Rhode Island were more likely to make a recipe ahead of time for the tailgate (42 percent), while those from California, Colorado, and Tennessee were more likely to bring something premade (32 percent).

“It is all about fun and flavor,” says Anderko. “Other gatherings might be focused on meal selection or the perfect table setting. Tailgating is all about enjoying food that tastes good and everyone enjoying themselves.” 

For fun to happen, there are important tailgating jobs, such as grill master. The survey found that 29 percent believe working the grill to be the best job while tailgating, 25 percent would opt for side dish taster, and 23 percent would be the game hype person.

 “For a successful tailgate party, everyone has a role. You don’t want too many cooks, so should be one grill master. Others can help organize and serve the food, handle beverages, and, of course, the organizer who has the enviable job of enjoying the event since that job has been completed,” laughs Anderko.

In addition to eating and drinking while tailgating, 71 percent like socializing but only with other fans, 69 percent enjoy listening to music, and 61 percent will capture the day by taking photos.

National Tailgating Month celebrates the time of fun and food before and during a sporting event, especially football, in November. Hormel Foods, a global branded food company known for some of the most iconic and trusted brands in the food industry, recently released some surprising results about how consumers feel about food and tailgating. 

A nationwide survey of 5,000 consumers conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Hormel Foods, found that tailgaters take food, etiquette, and habits very seriously.

“Tailgating remains very popular because it makes the event an entire day of celebration,” explains Dave Anderko, Consumers Insights Lead for Hormel Foods. “Sometimes, people travel to enjoy a game, invest time, and want to enjoy the full day. Everyone is there to have fun and celebrate, even with others tailgating next to them. Even though everyone is having their own party, it is all the parties together that put everyone in a good mood and create the atmosphere for having a fun time. Right before a sporting event, even if the team doesn’t do well, tailgating puts everyone in a happy frame of mind.”

Tailgaters have high expectations when it comes to food choices. In fact, three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents agreed that the food selection can make or break the tailgate. Surprisingly, burgers (66 percent) and hot dogs (56 percent) ranked highest among those polled as the best foods to bring to a tailgate. Also important are portability (58 percent) and ease of cooking (56 percent), ranking high in choosing the perfect tailgate snack, as well as the ability for people to eat with their hands (finger foods, 47 percent). 

“It is all about familiarity. People know how to cook and prepare burgers and hot dogs, even with their own special twists,” says Anderko. “These are foods people are really going to enjoy and easy to prepare on a grill and turn out well since there is not a full kitchen. Almost everyone loves burgers and hot dogs, adding to the celebratory atmosphere.”

When it comes to tailgating -friendly products, Hormel offers Applegate Well Carved™ Burgers, Applegate Organics® Turkey Burgers, nine choices of Applegate Hot Dogs, six varieties of JENNIE-O® Turkey Burgers, JENNIE-O® Jumbo Turkey Franks, and JENNIE-O® Turkey Franks.

As for side dishes, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents are likely to bring their favorite dish, regardless of whether others enjoy it. The versatility (31 percent) of choices in food also ranked high in importance when planning the perfect spread. Survey respondents from Rhode Island were more likely to make a recipe ahead of time for the tailgate (42 percent), while those from California, Colorado, and Tennessee were more likely to bring something premade (32 percent).

“It is all about fun and flavor,” says Anderko. “Other gatherings might be focused on meal selection or the perfect table setting. Tailgating is all about enjoying food that tastes good and everyone enjoying themselves.” 

For fun to happen, there are important tailgating jobs, such as grill master. The survey found that 29 percent believe working the grill to be the best job while tailgating, 25 percent would opt for side dish taster, and 23 percent would be the game hype person.

 “For a successful tailgate party, everyone has a role. You don’t want too many cooks, so should be one grill master. Others can help organize and serve the food, handle beverages, and, of course, the organizer who has the enviable job of enjoying the event since that job has been completed,” laughs Anderko.

In addition to eating and drinking while tailgating, 71 percent like socializing but only with other fans, 69 percent enjoy listening to music, and 61 percent will capture the day by taking photos.

There is also etiquette at tailgating. If someone doesn’t bring a dish to share, nearly half of those polled said that person would not be invited back (46 percent), especially among those living in Michigan and New Jersey (58 percent). To review all of the survey’s findings, visit HormelFoods.com.

 “It surprised me the number of people who don’t bring something to the tailgate,” says Anderko. “For those attending a tailgate, always bring something. If people are intimated to bring something, there are many great options.” 

Hormel Food offers easy-to-bring and tasty items such as its Hormel Gatherings® party trays with several varieties to select. People just need to snap off the lid and open the packages of meats, cheeses, and crackers. The presentation is perfect and is a great solution to bring something to share that everyone will enjoy. 

Other products from Hormel Foods that are great for tailgating include different salsas from rands like CHI-CHI’S, and Herdez®, and Wholly® Guacamole, since chips and dips are always a winner. The Planters® features snack nuts and has introduced its latest Sweet & Spicy peanuts, along with cashews and mixed nuts. Columbus® line features great pre-sliced meat products; add crackers and cheese and create a flavorful charcuterie board.

“Hormel offers value-added products, said Anderko. “We do the work for our customers so they can grab-and-go for a tailgate party, remove the protective film and serve fun food while cheering for your favorite team.” 

For recipes or information about the Hormel Foods family of brands, visit hormelfoods.com and follow on Facebook @ HormelFoodsCorp, Instagram @ hormelfoods, and Twitter @ HormelFoods.