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The Results Are In: America's Favorite Fourth of July Eats

Here's What Americans Are Buying Most for Their July 4th Cookouts


As fireworks light up the sky and patriotism fills the air, one thing remains clear: Americans love to celebrate the Fourth of July with delicious food. Thanks to Instacart, the popular app-based grocery delivery service, we now have a detailed look at what makes it to our cookout tables during this festive time. Their latest report not only highlights our favorite Independence Day eats but also settles the age-old debate: hot dogs or hamburgers?


Instacart's Flavors of the Fourth report offers an insightful analysis of consumer behavior by comparing data from the week leading up to July 4, 2023, with the same period in 2022. This annual snapshot reveals trending summer cookout staples and hints at evolving food and beverage preferences.


Fourth of July Summer Cookout, hamburgers, hot dogs , watermelon

Here are the top 10 items that saw the most notable increase in popularity during the week leading up to July 4:


1. Yellow Corn (+380%)

2. Charcoal (+222%)

3. Potato Salad (+177%)

4. Baby Back Ribs (+170%)

5. Hot Dog Buns (+163%)

6. Canned Baked Beans (+163%)

7. Bratwurst (+152%)

8. Frozen Beef Burgers (+140%)

9. Watermelons (+139%)

10. Beef Patties (+126%)


If you're surprised by the spike in yellow corn purchases, it's important to note that this list highlights items with the greatest increase in demand specifically around July 4th. For example, hot dogs might not appear here because they are consistently popular throughout the year.


Now, onto the big question: hot dogs or hamburgers? According to Instacart, hot dogs take the crown in most states. This conclusion is based on bun sales, as they provide a more precise indicator of when people plan to enjoy their grilled favorites. In 32 states, hot dog buns outsold hamburger buns, with the latter only leading in a few states in the Northwest, Northeast, and Southeast.


Hot Dogs , Hot dogs with caramelized onion

"Hot dogs and hamburgers are quintessential Fourth of July fare due to their simplicity and ease of preparation," says Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s trends expert. "When hosting backyard parties, people often prioritize quick preparation, easy serving, and broad appeal. Hot dogs, in particular, are favored across more states because they’re convenient and don’t even require a plate!"


When it comes to condiments, the usual suspects are all there — mustard, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, and relish. However, ranch dressing reigns supreme in 19 states, particularly in the Midwest, Central Plains, Idaho, and Utah. Mayonnaise also sees a surge, not just for topping burgers and dogs, but as a key ingredient in many popular side salads.


So, as you fire up your grill this Fourth of July, you might find yourself reaching for hot dogs over hamburgers, adding a side of potato salad, and topping it all off with a generous drizzle of ranch. Whatever your choice, one thing is certain: the Fourth of July is a time for good food, great company, and celebrating America’s birthday in the tastiest way possible.

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