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Grocery shopping

The National Retail Federation has a tendency to get a bit overexcited once anything resembling a retail holiday comes around, but their surveys of buyer intentions tend to provide at least a vague idea of how buyers will approach seasonal spending.

This year, in a survey of buyer intentions, the NRF found that 74.5% of Americans plan to buy some form of food or beverages specifically for the Super Bowl. Altogether, they're predicting Americans will spend a net average of $68.64 apiece on Super Bowl shopping and almost $12.3 billion in total.

That's a bit lofty, which is why we should remind you that it's a survey of buyer intentions, which have very little to do with reality. Any bagger or cashier at a Kroger , SuperValu , Safeway or any other supermarket in America, however, can tell you that the Saturday and Sunday leading up to the Super Bowl are nightmarish days in the aisles. Bags of store-brand crinkle-cut chips, 3-liter bottles of soda and cans of dip that little resemble the sour cream or onion they claim to contain all fly off the shelves and into the trunks of suburban grocery getters. Whether your town is near San Francisco or Baltimore matters about as much this Super Bowl Sunday as its proximity to Ireland and Mexico will matter on St. Patrick's Day and Cinco De Mayo. Americans love having excuses for their gluttony, and supermarkets don't mind running event-specific specials to feed it.