NEW HAVEN--Some 12.5 million pizzas will be ordered for take out on Super Bowl Sunday, but the fact that neither these doughy delights, nor chicken wings, top the list of most-eaten foods during the big game is causing somewhat of a flap.
“I can't believe that,” said Bill Pustari, owner of Modern Pizza in New Haven. “What kind of vegetables? The celery that goes with the buffalo wings?”
The NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks Americans’ eating habits, says vegetables has claimed the top spot for 30 years. Nationally, baby carrots and veggie trays are the hottest Super Bowl sellers, but, at Connecticut Natural Food in North Haven, it's California avocados.
“The Haas avocados are very flavorful, said Dennis Kovacs, owner of Connecticut Natural Food. “They have a high oil content. People think the oil is bad, but the avocado oil is one of the best things for you.”
He claims that avocados grown in Florida and the Caribbean are less flavorful because they have less fat.
Believe it or not, his Super Bowl Sunday sales are dependent on who’s playing.
“One of the best days we've ever had, believe it or not, was the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl, the first time, when the Patriots were undefeated,” said Kovacs, who, for the record, is a Seattle Seahawks fan.
One national pizza chain says they expect to take up to 1,700 phone orders per minute just before kickoff Sunday. At Modern Pizza, the mad dash for the dough begins as soon as their doors open Sunday.
“Dads are bringing moms out to eat real fast at 3 o'clock when we open up so they can get home and watch the game,” said Pustari, who’s been in the pizza business for 32 years.
After serving up roughly 100 pizzas per hour, for three hours, Pustari says his dining room dies out just before kickoff. “Then, we have a TV here in the kitchen to watch the game.” But, that’s while filling double the typical takeout orders. “We max out at roughly 100 an hour,” says Pustari, who is a Patriots fan.
He says he didn't really have a favorite team in the late 1980s, so he asked someone who the worst team was at the time. When he was told it was the Patriots, he said he decided to root for them and hasn't quit since.