back to top
Business

We're About To Enter Peak Hot Dog Season

It's hot dog season. Can the downward trend in wiener consumption be reversed?

Posted on

From June to September, when days are long and the dewy summer air is warm and full of promise, America enters a glorious time called peak hot dog season. Yet our love of hot dogs has been cooling recently, according to sales data from Nielsen.

If the trend can be reversed, it likely would happen around this time of year. In July, the country consumes one-tenth of the hot dogs eaten all year, which is why the month has been dubbed National Hot Dog Month. In honor of this dubious culinary holiday, here's everything you need to know about the hot dog business.

Sales in dollar terms have increased about 2% over the last year, but that was due to higher prices and a shift to more costly premium hot dogs, according to Jonna Parker, director of account services at Nielsen.

In absolute numbers of wieners sold, it's a grimmer picture. "Retailers are selling less unit volume of hot dogs and have been since 2011," she said.

That's not even counting restaurant sales. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, which totally exists, sales are growing due to "the popularity of high protein foods and interest in natural and organic products." And has there ever been anything purer than hot dogs?

In a Hot Dog Council survey, older consumers preferred all beef hot dogs, while younger consumers preferred meats like pork and chicken.

And even after the fireworks end, baseball remains crucial to the hot dog industry.

David Maxwell / Getty Images

Baseball season and hot dog season align perfectly. Ballparks are expected to sell nearly 21.4 million hot dogs this season, according to the council. Some stadiums get creative too: visitors to Arizona's Chase Field can order an 18-inch bacon-wrapped corndog called the D-Bat Dog, which comes with fries, for $25.

Venessa Wong is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Wong covers the food industry.

Contact Venessa Wong at venessa.wong@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.