Nearly half (46%) of consumers are snacking more than before the pandemic, according to Mondelēz’s 2021 State of Snacking report. The upcoming Big Tournament is prime snacking time! Score big with sports fans with our game-day snack ideas.
Sports fans everywhere are gearing up for March basketball. And they’re craving snacks and other easy handhelds they can munch on while watching their favorite team on the big screen. And what better all-stars to feature on menus than apps and dips? Jump into the action with our tips for tasty app & sauce combos that are sure to be a slam dunk.
Chicken wings are one of the most popular snacks across all sports. They’re quick to whip up and fly off menus. Of course, dips like blue cheese and ranch are a given, but get a little more creative to pique diners’ interests.
Consider an apricot spicy brown mustard sauce for a sweet & spicy combo, a Thai peanut dipping sauce to punch up sesame wings, or a spicy, creamy Creole remoulade for Cajun-style wings. A smoky harissa aioli, Alabama white sauce, or banana ketchup for Filipino adobo-style wings are also creative choices to get mouths watering! And check out ideas for marinades here.
Take a Shot with Sliders
Whether you choose BBQ, meatballs, burgers, French dip, or other savory munchies, sliders are always a hit on menus. And the possibilities for sauces and dips are endless! Consider using Roma® Gourmet Beef & Pork Meatballs for sliders. They provide quick and easy prep but can be paired with a variety of sauces from Korean BBQ, spicy arrabbiata, or cranberry chili. For burgers, try a bourbon bacon jam on cheeseburger sliders, whipped feta and tzatziki sauce on Greek sliders, or chipotle aioli for turkey sliders.
Throwin’ Salt in the Game
We can’t forget about our other favorite game-day staple — salty snacks such as chips, fries, pretzels, popcorn, and more. Diners expect these on menus for game days. But you can stand out from the competition by going beyond the typical tortilla chips and chunky salsa. A mango habanero salsa with housemade lime tortilla chips is bound to turn some heads. A flight of salsas and/or quesos would make a great LTO. Or serve up a basket of crisp truffle Parmesan fries with a peppercorn aioli, or a jumbo Bavarian pretzel with jalapeno beer cheese. Fried Fans
With fried pickles, mozzarella sticks, hushpuppies, mac & cheese bites, and more, breaded, toasted, and fried players will never sit on the bench. And when paired with the right dipping sauce, it’s game over. Consider adding Luigi® Medium Square Toasted Cheese Ravioli to the menu and pair with a homemade marinara sauce. Crunchy fried pickles paired with a cilantro ranch, or hushpuppies served with hot honey or raspberry hot pepper jelly will have diners jumping in their seats.
Seafood Slam Dunk
Game-day apps don’t just have to be all meat and potatoes. Peel & eat or fried shrimp, fish tacos, oysters, crab dip, and ceviche are all perfect seafood apps to make fans cheer. Let your culinary skills shine with the dips and sauces for each. Raw oysters lend themselves well to a variety of flavors that only enhance the briny dish. Serve with a Champagne mignonette, grapefruit and red pepper relish, or with Thai basil pesto, ponzu, and grilled pineapple. Level up fish tacos with a Sriracha aioli and pump up fried coconut shrimp with a pineapple chili dipping sauce or XO sauce for a serious flavor bomb.
Dip Into Desserts
Dips aren’t just a partner to chips, wings, and other savory apps — they’re a fun way to persuade guests to order something sweet and increase ticket averages. Churros with a rich chocolate dipping sauce, cinnamon tortilla chips with a dulce de leche dip, or donut holes paired with fruity jam or bourbon brown sugar dipping sauce are fun and easy to serve up. If you want to get fancy, add a dessert fondue or charcuterie board with all the dips and fixings for a treat for the whole table.