McCormick¨ Grill Mates¨ Survey Shows Nearly Half of Americans Enjoy Tailgate Food More Than the Game
For tailgaters around the country, food fandom is as varied and intense as the football rivalries themselves
HUNT VALLEY, MD (October 08, 2014) – If you’re all about the food at game-day gatherings, you’re not alone. For the 41 percent of Americans who will tailgate this season, 44 percent say the food is more enjoyable than the game. In the Northeast that number jumps up to 51 percent. Even at its lowest point in the Midwest, people are still crazy about their pre-game fare, with 39 percent enjoying food more than the game.

The classic tailgate foods remain the same, with grilled meats, foods in a bun and dips leading tailgate menus around the country – but favorites vary by region. In the Northeast and South, for example, grilled meats are the clear winner; in the West, dips are on top. But 48 percent of tailgaters are still looking to put a twist on these favorites with new flavors – and they’re spending an average of 1.5 hours with friends and family to do so.

“This survey shows football is as much about the food as it is the game,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “One-third of tailgaters are looking to crank up the heat in their fare. Our recipes, from sweet and spicy Sriracha Barbecue Sauce to Fire Roasted Chile Guacamole, give tailgaters what they’re looking for on game day.”

Gridiron Grilling –Tied with foods in a bun as the leading favorite food at a tailgate, 67 percent of those who love grilled meat said they want to add new and different flavors.

First-Down Finger Foods –These football season classic foods get a flavor upgrade with homemade sauces and rubs that deliver great-tasting results, satisfying the cravings of those looking to add new and different flavors.

  • Grilled Ribs with Homemade Sriracha BBQ Sauce – This recipe is a game-winner. The spicy homemade Sriracha BBQ Sauce is the perfect complement to these Memphis spice-rubbed and grilled pork ribs.
  • Fiery Kickoff Wings – If you’re looking for the perfect finger food, these easy-to-make wings are a winning combination, with crushed red pepper providing the extra hit of heat.

Savory Secondaries – While 70 percent of tailgaters said they want to add new and different flavors to dip, 40 percent specifically said they’d like to turn up the heat. Try these chile-infused recipes to accompany any main dish:

  • Fire Roasted Chile Guacamole – Chow down on this six-ingredient homemade guacamole, which gets a kick of flavor from chilies that are fire-roasted on the grill.
  • Spicy Black Bean Dip Recipe – This low-calorie bean dip delivers winning flavor, packing in heat from chili powder and red pepper.

Big House Burgers – Not surprisingly, foods in a bun – like burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches – joined grilled meats as a tailgate favorite. To add extra kick to the classic burger, try these easy recipes:

Visit the Grill Mates Lookbook on or Pinterest for ideas to make sure your tailgates and game-day events are as tasty as possible.

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About McCormick
McCormick & Company, Incorporated is a global leader in flavor with more than $4 billion in annual sales. McCormick manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the entire food industry – retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses – in more than 125 countries and territories. Since Willoughby M. McCormick founded the company selling root beer extract in 1889, McCormick has demonstrated a strong commitment to the communities in which it operates and the planet as a whole. Innovation in flavor and a clear focus on employee engagement and product quality has allowed McCormick to grow its business globally and become the flavor leader it is today. Visit, and for more information.



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