Like many Americans, I equate the Fourth of July with hot dogs, hamburgers, and beer. Despite the abundance of Fourth of July sales by retailers attempting to turn this patriotic holiday into a shopping holiday, I think the spotlight truly shines on the good-ole hot dog.
Almost 90% of adults will celebrate the Fourth of July with an estimated 40 million cookouts (BIGInsightTM Monthly Consumer Survey June 2012). This is expected to generate a lot of demand for hot dogs. Last year, shoppers spent $1.7 billion in supermarkets just on hot dogs. That’s a lot of hot dogs. In fact, while enjoying the festivities, Americans will consume an astounding 150 million hot dogs, enough to stretch cross-country from D.C. to Los Angeles more than five times. That’s more than seven times as many hot dogs as Major League ballparks will serve during the entire season.
What amazes me is that the hot dog has become such a crucial part of American tradition despite its European roots. Though the exact origin of hot dog is widely debated, it’s safe to say the hot dog on a bun as we know it is all-American. The name “hot dog” is thought to come from cartoonist Tad Dorgan in 1901 when he drew a New York Polo Grounds vendor selling barking dachshund sausages in warm rolls. Not knowing how to spell “dachshund,” he wrote “hot dog!” as the caption.
Before the name was even invented, hot dogs and sausages were standard fare at ballparks. Since this “all-American” food is so closely tied with America’s pastime, it’s only natural that we should eat hot dogs on the day that celebrates our country. The Nathan’s® Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, televised annually on ESPN®, has solidified the hot dog as a Fourth of July tradition since 1916.
So when you’re shopping for your cookout this year, don’t forget to grab the hot dogs to enjoy along with your friends, family, and fireworks.
Contributed by: Kelsey Reddick, Integer Denver
Photo Source: National Hot Dog and Sausage Council