What’s more American than hot dogs and apple pie? Not a lot. And while we all love a nice piece of apple pie, July 23 is the official National Hot Dog Day where we celebrate all things hot dog, frankfurter and wiener.
Did you know peak hot dog season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs? That’s 818 hot dogs consumed every second during that period. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, nearly 1 billion packages of hot dogs were sold at retail stores in 2014, representing more than $2.5 billion in retail sales.
Driving sales is the popularity of high-protein foods and interest in natural and organic products. New products available are mostly brand favorites reformulated with a reduced-fat content or increased protein content. New products in flavors such as honey and brown sugar, barbeque, Cajun, spicy and teriyaki have hit the market in the last year. According to consumer research, convenient packaging, preparation and usage information are high priorities.
The top hot dog consuming cities in 2014 in order were Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, Birmingham, Boston, Detroit, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. Consumers with larger households made up of older children in the Midwest and South continue to be the highest consumers of refrigerated packaged meat products. Sixty percent, mostly older consumers, of people surveyed said they preferred all-beef hot dogs. Younger consumers preferred other products such as pork and chicken.
Curious for more stats? Major League Baseball fans will consume more than 18.5 million hot dogs and nearly 4.2 million sausages during the 2015 season. The combined hot dog and sausage total could stretch from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to Chase Field in Phoenix. The hot dog total alone would reach as high as 7,827 Empire State Buildings.
So celebrate the all-American hot dog sometime today. As for my family, we will be grilling up some all-beef wieners with all the fixings. Cheers!