A decade ago, the hot dog was declining in America. Sales were down 3% in 2012, compared to the previous year, after slowly dropping before that. As the late food writer Josh Ozersky observed, the humble frankfurter was being pushed aside by people looking for more interesting food choices.
Recently, the dog has made a comeback. Sales skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic as Americans gravitated toward comfort food, and the portability of hot dogs made them ideal for social distancing. Now that ballparks are back in business, sales are climbing even more: The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that 19.1 million hot dogs will be eaten by Major League Baseball fans this season. On July 4th, Americans will eat 150 million of them.