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Feast on Savory Stats: Fourth of July Hot Dog Prices Drop


How do Americans celebrate Fourth of July? NYCEDC analyzed the Independence Day traditions of everyday Americans to answer this very question.

As expected, many Americans will attend outdoor parties, join in on barbecues, and spend the evening gazing at the fireworks. Thousands of spectators will also travel to Coney Island for Nathan’s annual hot dog eating contest.[1] This is no average year for the best-of-the-wurst Nathan’s: the iconic hot dog vendor is celebrating its 100th anniversary, totaling over 435 million sausages sold at its 40,000 food service retail outlets around the country.[2]

In honor of Nathan’s annual crowd-pleasing eating contest – and given the ubiquity of frankfurters at Fourth of July barbecues – consumers will be interested to know just how much more they’ll be spending on their favorite wieners this year, compared to years prior. Hot dog devotees can consume with confidence knowing that the price of an American hot dog has decreased by 1% year-over-year, contrasting the 11% price increase these savory sausages saw since 2011, which outpaced the inflation rate on all consumer goods of 9%.[3] Beer buffs, however, will be cracking open their ales to a different tune.

Beer has seen a 2% bump since last year for in-home consumption, and 1% increase for out-of-home consumption. Feasting on franks and kicking back cold ones is an American pastime on Independence Day, and the National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that total food spending will exceed $6.8 billion nationally during the annual celebrations.[4]

Fourth of July is more than just about hot dogs and hops. Americans also love fireworks; 42.6% of those surveyed by the NRF said they would attend a firework show. Between 2011 and 2015, revenue to fireworks companies grew by 13%, reaching $1.095 billion in total revenue across the country. That equates to a nearly 22% increase in tonnage of fireworks sold (or roughly 285 million lbs.).[5] Macy’s hosts arguably the most famous Independence Day fireworks show of all 14,000 across the country, setting off over 40,000 fireworks within a 20-minute span.



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