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Jacksonville-area businesses look to cash in on Super Bowl

San Marco pizza place, Lakewood Winn Dixie prepare for big day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Super Bowl Sunday isn't considered a big day just for football fans; it's just as big a day for the food industry.

Some call it Black Friday for the food industry -- the equivalent of the day after Thanksgiving for holiday shopping.

It may not be an official holiday, but America seems to have put Super Bowl Sunday on the unofficial list, and businesses want to accommodate the tens of millions who plan to watch the Seahawks knock helmets with the Patriots.

V Pizza has been open only seven months in San Marco, but managers Florjan Murataj and Matt Kepp are hoping to cash in on their first Super Bowl.

"Then next year when it comes, next time we'll look at numbers and say we may not need as many this year or we may need more next year based on sales," they said.

The managers said they're not sure what the crowds for dine in or carry out will be like.

"Pizza and football go together, especially with pizza and beer. Whether we get a lot of to-go orders or people here, we'll serve a lot of people regardless," they said.

Wings and pizza are huge for the Super Bowl. It's estimated Pizza Hut, for example, will have 60,000 pizza drivers ready to go, delivering over 2 million pizzas.

But it's not just hot food that sells. The aisles at the Lakewood Winn Dixie are prepared for the crowds that start streaming in around 11 a.m. Sunday. Surprisingly, it's not just beer and chips that sell, food industry analysts said fruits and vegetables are the biggest sellers on Super Bowl.

"It's one of our busiest food days throughout the year besides Christmas and New Year's, it's like crazy," said Brian Heinrich, of Winn Dixie. "People come in buying everything, chicken wings in the deli, fruit platters, beer, getting ready for the big game."

The fruit and vegetable phenomenon isn't something new because Americans are eating healthier, they've been the top sellers for 30 years.


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