What’s the best part of game day? Is it watching – or partaking in – the extravagant outbursts that occur as flags are thrown in the other team’s favor? Could it be the sweet sense of vicarious victory you feel when your home team scores its first touchdown? Or maybe it’s the completely valid excuse to enjoy adult beverages on a Sunday? No matter which game day nuance speaks to you, there's a national consensus that game day food is a must. We took a look at the most popular game day snacks on Instagram in 2015 to determine just which goodies America was gobbling – and salivating over – at halftime.
Favorite #gameday Snacks by State
When most football enthusiasts think of game day goodies, they picture pizza, beef, and chicken wings – not pancakes, pumpkin, and … veganism. As it turns out, Florida, Nevada, and South Dakota have traded in meaty treats for snacks void of animal by-products. And while most American football-loving Instagramers favor classics such as chicken and burgers, states like Montana, Kansas, and Maine have turned to munching on less-traditional treats (eggs Benedict, for example).
Top 10 “Liked” Snacks on Instagram
When it comes to the game day snacks favored by Instagram users nationwide, watermelon and vegan cuisine consistently scored the most likes per post. Hot dogs and various cheeses averaged slightly less than 90 likes, and eggs Benedict, wings, and burgers each tallied a little more than 70. People also seem to double-tap photos of their friends and family members enjoying tacos, sandwiches, and hot wings on game day – with each of these treats averaging between 60 and 70 likes per post.
The Popularity of Filters on Snack Posts
Instagram filters are all the rage, and filtering game day munchies is no exception. Game day snack posts using the Hudson filter received an average of 86.78 likes, with Valencia ringing in at second place with 66.57 likes per post. Interestingly enough, football foodie Instagram posts with no filter (aka “Normal”) – meaning that either the photo-takers were too engrossed in the game to apply a filter or the #foodcoma had kicked in – scored 71.43 likes per post.
Game Day Desserts on Instagram
When it comes to game day sweets, pie takes the ... cake. In fact, 30.3% of game day snack posts mentioned pie, with cake itself featured in 21.5% of posts. While chocolate was also mentioned a fair amount (present in 19.4% of all posts), it’s clear that Instagram-savvy football lovers much prefer greasy, salty goodness to sweet treats such as cookies, ice cream, and brownies. Nothing says “America” quite like a Sunday full of gridiron and grill-outs.
Snacking – America’s Favorite Pastime
Americans love football, no question. But it wouldn’t be game day if it weren’t for the calorific spread of tasty treats that has become as much of a Sunday ritual as slipping on the jersey and hunkering down in front of the TV. Looking at the most popular #gameday posts on Instagram, we discovered a definite trend in favored foods, suggesting that while classics (like #nofilter chicken wings) still hold a special place in the heart of the nation, vegan offerings have recently taken game day by storm. Whether you choose to keep it traditional or happen to live in a state that champions jambalaya over hot dogs, one thing is for certain – if you aren’t Instagramming what you’re eating, you’re missing out on a new game day practice!
Using the Instagram API, we looked at Instagram posts with #gameday from Jan.–Oct. 2015, and after filtering all the posts for food references, we analyzed 25,660 posts to determine which food types were mentioned the most and which received the most likes..
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