Hot Dogs Year Round!

The Lempert Report
September 09, 2014

Summer may be coming to and end, but don't let that put an end to one of America's favorite foods.

From sporting events to backyard bbq's hot dogs hold a special place in America's hearts, and now several new creative recipes have elevated them beyond the mundane.  

Restaurant chefs and specialty food trucks for example have grown fonder of hot dogs as a protein base and their ideas show off a versatility that supermarkets could benefit from.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) says Americans buy 350 million pounds of hot dogs a year in U.S. stores – about 9 billion hot dogs.  That’s more than 1 billion packages representing nearly $2.5 billion in retail sales in 2013, says Nielsen.  

In all, the Council estimates the nation consumes 20 billion hot dogs a year (about 70 per person) – and cites Heartland Buffalo figures that 9% are bought at ballparks and 15% from street vendors.  According to IRi data, adds the Council, 38% of hot dog sales occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

But why couldn’t supermarkets promote hot dogs and other grill foods year-round? They are easy to eat, portable, and a great party food. 

Take for example, homegating – where friends and family gather to watch major sports events on TV, such as playoff series and the Super Bowl?  Especially with new recipes home entertainers can emulate from creative chefs.  Supermarkets could both sell prepared foods, or assemble foods and related items for grilling at home.

Supermarkets should take a page from creative chefs, food trucks, and eateries and promote America's favorite food  as a year round food and use better breads and buns to raise the innate appeal of hot dogs.