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Hot Dog Sales Remain a Home Run, Despite Zero Sporting Events

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Just because sports are essentially cancelled while the United States shelters in place and waits out the coronavirus pandemic doesn't mean hot dogs are any less popular.

The meaty morsels are being enjoyed more at home, reports Sports Illustrated's Emma Baccallieri, rather than at the ball park.

According to Baccallieri, hot dog sales remain flat throughout the coronavirus pandemic, despite some expectations that they would fall due to less demand from sporting events and airports, which would be somewhat expected since baseball is built into the name of one of the top-selling brands, Tyson's  (TSN) 's Ball Park Franks. 

Instead, consumers are buying more hot dogs from the supermarket and firing up their home grills.

"Tons of people are buying hot dogs at home right now. Retail hot dog sales more than doubled in the last month over a normal month. We're eating just as many hot dogs—we're just eating them at home," Baccallieri said.

Hot dogs are a popular American snack. In 2019, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, 871.8 million pounds of hot dogs were sold at retail stores in the U.S. That amounts to over $2.3 billion in sales. National Hot Dog Month—July—accounts for 10 percent of all annual hot dog sales.

Still, sport events—and in particular baseball—have always been big for hot dog consumption. According to a 2016 survey of consumption at major league ballparks from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, ballparks sold 19.4 million hot dogs that year. 

Airports are another popular arena for hot dogs. 

According to Yahoo Finance, Nathan’s Famous Inc., the popular hot dog maker, received a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program for about $1.2 million. However, the company said Monday it was returning the money because those loans were meant to go to small businesses. Other companies, like Shake Shack  (SHAK)  and Sweetgreen, also returned their loans in recent days.

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