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Inside the Bun: The Business of Selling Hot Dogs

  • <p>Americans will eat about 2.3 billion hot dogs -- eight per person -- during National Hot Dog Month. National Hot Dog Day is July 18th, but the 4th is the biggest dog day.</p>
  • <p>17 Contestants ate 576.5 hot dogs and buns at last year's Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.</p>
  • <p>66 Hot Dogs were eaten in 12 minutes by 2007 winner Joey Chestnut, who won $10,000 and set a new world record.</p>
  • <p>$39 million -- estimated media value of the TV coverage for the contest's sponsor, Nathan's.</p>
  • <p>69% of Americans prefer eating hot dogs on a bun.<br />
15% prefer them naked with baked beans.<br />
14% prefer corn dogs.</p>
  • <p>AWhile the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council advises that no one over age 18 use ketchup on a hot dog, 23% of people consider it their favorite topping. (Mustard wins out with 32%.)</p>
  • <p>1 in 6 -- odds that the beef in a beef hot dog originated in Texas.<br />
1 in 4 -- odds that the pork in a pork hot dog originated in Iowa.</p>
  • <p>Each year almost 100 million Red Hots are bought at 7-Eleven, North America's No. 1 retailer of cooked hot dogs.</p>
  • <p>Americans spend more than $1.9 Billion at the supermarket on hot dogs annually.</p>
  • <p>The No. 1 producer is Oscar Mayer, which sold upward of 129.5 million pounds of dogs in 2007.</p>
  • 01 /10

    Americans will eat about 2.3 billion hot dogs -- eight per person -- during National Hot Dog Month. National Hot Dog Day is July 18th, but the 4th is the biggest dog day.

  • 02 /10

    17 Contestants ate 576.5 hot dogs and buns at last year's Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

  • 03 /10

    66 Hot Dogs were eaten in 12 minutes by 2007 winner Joey Chestnut, who won $10,000 and set a new world record.

  • 04 /10

    $39 million -- estimated media value of the TV coverage for the contest's sponsor, Nathan's.

  • 05 /10

    69% of Americans prefer eating hot dogs on a bun.
    15% prefer them naked with baked beans.
    14% prefer corn dogs.

  • 06 /10

    AWhile the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council advises that no one over age 18 use ketchup on a hot dog, 23% of people consider it their favorite topping. (Mustard wins out with 32%.)

  • 07 /10

    1 in 6 -- odds that the beef in a beef hot dog originated in Texas.
    1 in 4 -- odds that the pork in a pork hot dog originated in Iowa.

  • 08 /10

    Each year almost 100 million Red Hots are bought at 7-Eleven, North America's No. 1 retailer of cooked hot dogs.

  • 09 /10

    Americans spend more than $1.9 Billion at the supermarket on hot dogs annually.

  • 10 /10

    The No. 1 producer is Oscar Mayer, which sold upward of 129.5 million pounds of dogs in 2007.

Americans will eat about 2.3 billion hot dogs — eight per person — during National Hot Dog Month. National Hot Dog Day is July 18th, but the 4th is the biggest dog day.

A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.