Tailgating and Homegating: Inspire your customers with these delicious ideas and helpful tips
Even though the days are getting shorter and there is a chill in the air, grilling season doesn’t have to end with Labor Day. In fact, well over half of those owning grills enjoy using their grill or smoker year-round. As football season kicks off (pun intended), inspire your shoppers to fire up the grill for delicious tailgating or homegating dishes that everyone will root for on Game Day.
Shoppers check-in for football food ideas at Skogen’s Festival Foods in Green Bay, the Grocery and Tailgating Headquarters of the Green Bay Packers. Lauren Tulig, RDN, CD, Festival Foods’ Green Bay Regional Health & Wellness Manager and member of the National Turkey Federation’s Nutrition Advisory Board, shares a few of their ideas and smart plays for a stress-free game day:
On The Grill
- Brats and burgers: we encourage our customers to try a grilled turkey blend brat or turkey burger topped with all the traditional fixings.
- Kabobs: mix your favorite protein with your favorite veggies. Assemble pre-game and keep in a cooler to grill in time for the opening kickoff. Incorporate turkey by rolling turkey meatballs and threading on skewers with colorful peppers, onions and mushrooms.
- Pizza: we love to use turkey sausage crumbles and turkey pepperoni to make supreme pizzas or turkey bacon on breakfast pizzas.
On the Side
- Sandwiches on a stick: stack cheese cubes, deli turkey, lettuce and cherry tomato on a toothpick.
- Chopped salad in a cup: chop your favorite salad veggies and layer with seeds, cheese, beans and meats – like cubed or deli turkey or turkey bacon bits – in a plastic cup.
On Top of It
- Keep things simple. Stick to the basics so prep is a breeze and clean up quick so you can enjoy the game.
- Plan ahead. Decide what you’re going to grill and the 1 or 2 sides you’re going to serve. Keep a master tailgating list to check before you leave your house that includes everything you need.
- Don’t forget about food safety! Wash your hands and cooking surfaces before, during and after food preparation to ensure a safe meal. Keep your hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use a food thermometer to ensure proper cooking temperatures and bring a cooler with extra ice to store your perishables and leftover items. Keep raw meat separate from all food that is ready to eat.
Skogen’s Festival Foods shares recipes and tips through pre-game TV segments, circulars, and the Festival Foods blog where new recipes are posted weekly. Leverage your store’s resources - whether its tailgating/homegating store tours, culinary classes, demos, football-themed prepared food displays - to let shoppers know that your store is their go-to place. Getting customers to increase basket rings by shopping for their tailgating, homegating needs is an excellent opportunity to show your value to upper management during this prime promotional period.
For grilling tips, check out the National Turkey Federation’s Tip Sheet.
Check out ServeTurkey.org for more grilling ideas, nutrition facts and other resources.