The majority of sports fans agree that eating and drinking is a big part of watching sports (60 percent), according to Chicago-based Mintel. Nearly all sports fans consume beverages while watching sports at home with at least half reaching for water, soda or beer. Among sports fans age 21 and older, 63 percent report consuming alcohol beverages while watching sports, with 50 percent of these fans drinking beer. In comparison, 54 percent of fans report drinking soda and 64 percent drink water while watching sports. 

Although many fans drink alcohol while watching sports, it appears few are “drinking to get drunk.” Sports fans tend to opt for beer (50 percent) and wine (31 percent) compared with mixed drinks with hard alcohol (28 percent). In particular, male sports fans are significantly more likely than female fans to consume beer while watching sports (56 percent vs 42 percent).

Overall, 83 percent of fans snack while watching sports. Mintel research shows that 82 percent of US adults buy salty snacks for themselves, and sports fans are no exception: 68 percent of fans eat salty snacks while watching sports. Outside of snacks, chili, a staple of some football tailgate spreads, is eaten by nearly one third of sports fans (29 percent) during games.