For Those Who Baked, Brewed or Fried, We Salute You: Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (DPZ), Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM)

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What do a billion chicken wings, a billion beers, and several million pizzas have in common? They all get consumed on a single Sunday in February. According to the National Chicken Council, almost one and a quarter billion chicken wings were eaten during Super Bowl weekend.  Nielson Research reports that over 49 million cases of beer were sold in the two weeks leading up to the big game.  And scuttlebutt has it that the 30+ minute power outage likely INCREASED sales above the four million pizzas expected to have been ordered throughout the day.  Estimates are that over 111 million people watched the Super Bowl. If the trailing three year trend holds, more pizza, beer, tacos, and wings were devoured during the delicious debauchery than in any year past.

Four basic food groups:  Pizza, Tacos, Wings and Beer.

Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE:DPZ) staffed its headquarters with IT professionals and others just in case some glitch happened to keep them from providing the 11 million slices of pizza they anticipated selling on Sunday.  Whereas Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA) remains focused on the domestic market, Domino’s is expanding their reach overseas at a dramatic pace, especially in India.  Domino’s has done well in India, opening over 440 stores. Those Indian locations have led to five years of double-digit percentage same-store sales growth.  The company says it has the possibility of having at least 1,000 outlets in India.

Taco Bell, part of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), unveiled a new unforgettable character encouraging all of us to “LIVE MÁS.” This time it wasn’t a Spanish speaking Chihuahua, but rather an 87-year-old and his friends showing us that anyone can LIVE MÁS.

KFC, another under the YUM! umbrella, promoted its “Game day Bucket” in the days leading up to the game. The $19.99 limited-time offer provides eight pieces of chicken, eight Hot Wings, and ten Original Recipe Bites. The company is also marketing itself as the official sponsor of “couchgating.”  KFC has been in China for some time and has thousands of stores there, but recent results indicate YUM! in China may not be living so MÁS.  Recently YUM! reported a 6 percent drop in fourth-quarter sales at established restaurants in China due to “adverse publicity” regarding chemical residue found in some of its chicken supply.  Results had suffered in January, with KFC same-store sales dropping 41 percent.

Not to be outdone either in sales or sensationalism, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (NYSE:BUD) introduced one of their new stars, a baby Clydesdale born Jan. 16.  The foal, to be named by fans, was featured in the traditional 60-second Clydesdales commercial during the game.  With the big game over, BUD can return to focusing on the more mundane–namely its pending acquisition of Grupo Modelo and working out an agreement with the U.S. Dept. of Justice to avoid an anti-trust battle.

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