Consumption Statistics

Vital Hot Dog Statistics

In 2012, consumers spent more than $1.7 billion on hot dogs in U.S. supermarkets.

Los Angeles residents consume more hot dogs than any other city (over 95 million), beating out Baltimore/Washington and New York.

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport consumes SIX times more hot dogs, 725,000 more than Los Angeles International Airport and LaGuardia Airport combined.

On Independence Day, Americans will enjoy 150 million hot dogs, enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. over five times.

During Hot Dog Season, Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs or 818 hot dogs consumed every second during that period.

U.S. soldiers in military posts around the world from Fort Meyers in Arlington, Va. to Okinawa, Japan to Aqaba, Jordon consumed 2.4 million hot dogs last year.


The Size and Scope of the
U.S. Hot Dog Market – 2012

Supermarkets and school cafeterias, restaurants and concession stands hot dogs are served everywhere. And while it is difficult to offer a single precise answer as to the number of hot dogs sold and consumed each year, one thing is for sure: the market is more than a foot long.

The following information is comprised of retail scanner data at supermarkets and grocery stores and by estimates as to the number of hot dogs sold at places where barcodes are not used, such as corner stores, sporting events, carnivals, fairs and restaurants.

Retail Sales

Retail sales in major markets are collected when products are scanned at the checkout counter. Scanners read bar codes on uniform-weight products, like a package of ten to the pound branded wieners. Companies like Information Resources Inc. in Chicago or NPD in Port Washington, N.Y., track these numbers.

According to data ending December 25, 2011, more than 700 million packages of hot dogs were sold at retail stores, not including Wal-Mart, which does not report sales data. That number represents more than $1.7 billion in retail sales.

Ballpark Consumption

According to the Council's 2013 survey of hot dog and sausage consumption at major league ballparks in the United States, ballparks are expected to sell 20,421,361 hot dogs this season. This information is based on sales data for the previous year and expected attendance for the upcoming season.

Trends and Facts

Sales of hot dogs remain strong throughout the United States. Sales remained steady at the retail level, and other venues continue to post high sales as well, including airports, restaurants and ballparks.

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.

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.

Products in the “better for you" category, low-fat and fat-free, continue to sell well. In 2004, these products accounted for 12.4 percent of the total hot dog market. The top ten markets demonstrate substantial sales reaching more than $53 million in 2008. 

The vast majority of hot dogs are of the skinless variety, cooked inside a cellulose casing that is removed prior to packaging. Some hot dogs are produced in natural casings that are not removed, these feature the characteristic “snap" that many people enjoy. Most hot dogs are sold eight to a pound. Approximately 35 percent are offered in packages of 10 to the pound.

While the hot dog is a popular entree across the country, consumption does vary by region. According to sales data for 2012, New Yorkers spent more money on hot dogs in retail stores ($113 million) than any other market in the country. Residents of Los Angeles came in second with $92 million spent on hot dogs.

The summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day continue to make up the “hot dog season." Hot dog producers estimate that an average of 38 percent or $614 million of the total number of hot dogs are sold during this time. Ten percent of annual retail hot dog sales occur during July, which is designated as National Hot Dog Month.

Experts believe sales of the entire refrigerated processed meat category will continue to grow in the future.


Information Resources Inc. 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Package Facts, 2006


The Size and Scope of the
U.S. Sausage Market – 2012


Dinner Sausage

Sausages are enjoying unprecedented sales in the United States, as new flavors, convenient products and many great tasting old standards have enjoyed steady category growth.

Retail sales of sausages in major markets are collected by aggregating products scanned at the checkout counter or through scanner wands used in some households. Scanners read bar codes on uniform-weight products, like a package of ten to the pound branded wieners. The numbers are tracked by reporting companies. Scan data collected in homes is projected across the population. However, many sausage products are sold as "random weight" items, meaning retail packages are not of uniform weight and often not tracked by scanners.

According to figures for 2012, dinner sausage sales tallied $2.06 billion. Breakfast sausage/ham sales came in at more than $ 1.4 billion in sales.

When it comes to sausage, the Milwaukee Brewers, home of the Klement’s sausage race at every home game, are still the only team projected to sell more sausages than hot dogs. However, The Red Sox have claimed the title of sausage kings from the Brewers with an estimated 421,200 sausages. The Red Sox are followed by the Mets with 405,000, and the Giants, Nationals, Tigers and Brewers tied with 400,000. Overall, fans are expected to consume more than 6,133, 722 sausages this season.

Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of data available about the sales of sausage in other foodservice outlets. However, foodservice sales of breakfast and dinner sausages are substantial.


Dinner sausage consumption is fairly uniform throughout various income levels, while lower income families consume the most breakfast sausage.

Larger families eat the most breakfast and dinner sausage, as do younger families, with sausage consumption leveling off considerably for senior citizens. Residents of the Deep South consume the most dinner sausage, followed by the Northeast, according to a survey conducted by the Council.

San Antonio led the way in sales of dinner sausage with dollar sales of $112 million. Los Angeles and New York were the second and third largest markets with sales of $97 million and $92 million, respectively.

Sausage consumption also varies by season. Dinner sausage sales reportedly peak during the summer months, with dollar sales accounting for nearly one-third of annual sales. Breakfast sausage sales peak during holiday months from November through January.

Source: Refrigerated dinner sausage and breakfast sausage figures based on data collected during the calendar year of 2012, by Information Resources Inc. 


Top Hot Dog Consuming Cities 2012 (by volume)

1. Los Angeles

2. New York

3. Baltimore/Washington

4. Chicago

5. Philadelphia

6. South Carolina

7. Atlanta

8. Detroit

9. Houston

Source: Information Resources Inc.
Based on total retail sales, excluding Wal-Mart, for the 2012 calendar year.

Top Dinner Sausage Consuming Cities 2011=1 (by volume)

1. Los Angeles

2. New York

3. Houston

4. Chicago

5. Baltimore/Washington, D.C.

6. South Carolina

7. Atlanta

8. Philadelphia

9. Detroit

Top Breakfast Meat Consuming Cities 2011 (by volume)

1. Baltimore/Washington

2. Philadelphia

3. Los Angeles

4. Detroit

5. South Carolina

6. Chicago

7. Atlanta

8. New York

9. Houston

Source: Information Resources Inc.
Based on total retail sales, excluding Wal-Mart, for the 2012 calendar year.