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The Fourth of July holiday brings out many of the obvious grilling and snacking delights, like hot dogs, hamburgers and potato chips.
But what brands are consumers buying? Do various regions differ in their love for grilled meats? Are shopper’s grilling habits changing? Answers to these questions can offer valuable insights to grocery businesses as they work to optimize supermarket shelf management and online sales.
MyWebGrocer drilled down into online sales data from the past three years to see what grocery stores might expect, and found interesting – and occasionally unexpected – results. Catherine Workman, senior marketing analyst at MyWebGrocer, offers the following findings for product sales during the week of July 4. All are statistically significant at a minimum confidence interval of 90%:
Relishes experienced 40% to 50%-plus growth in unit sales the week of July 4 (compared to the previous week) in 2008, 2009 and 2010. This consistent level of pre-holiday growth outpaces other popular condiments like mayonnaise (up 14% the week of July 4 in 2010) and mustard (up 4% in 2010).
Ketchup sales dropped slightly in 2008 and 2009 (falling 12% and 10%, respectively), but regained popularity in 2010 (up 43% Fourth of July week compared to the week prior). Ketchup sales might have been down in 2009 as shoppers moved away from burgers and dogs to explore more exotic territory; marinade sales units were up 103% the week of July Fourth in 2009 compared to the week prior. Marinades unit sales still increased the week of July Fourth in 2010 as well, but not at the same pace.
The top brands of potato chips in online unit sales for the two weeks before July Fourth in 2010 were Lay’s, Pringles, Utz, Ruffles and Herr’s. Brands with the highest growth rates the two weeks leading up to July Fourth from 2009 to 2010 were PopChips (up 867%), Shearer’s (up 389%), Old Dutch (up 320%), Boulder Canyon (up 278%) and Krunchers (up 221%).
Beef (burgers and steaks) is the most popular grilling meat for Independence Day, but not by as much as one might expect. Overall, beef sales (by units sold) comprised 41% of the grilling meats in the two weeks before July Fourth 2010, but were followed closely by poultry at 35%.
As expected, shoppers are also buying hot dogs (14% of grilling meat unit sales two weeks leading up to July Fourth 2010) and pork (10%).
In Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, chicken beat out beef for the No. 1 grilling meat in unit sales the two weeks before the Fourth of July in 2010. In Michigan, Missouri and Oregon, hot dogs accounted for more than 30% of the grilling meat sales for that period. Nationally, hot dogs represent 14% of grilling meat sales for this time.
Washington, Oregon, Minnesota and Louisiana shoppers like to add pork to the grilling mix for Fourth of July. Sales of pork in those states represent 20% to 25% of the grilling meat purchases for the two weeks leading up to Fourth of July, compared to 10% nationally for the same period.
The data reflected above was collected from users of MyWebGrocer’s digital grocery platform between June 21 and July 4 in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
MyWebGrocer is the leading U.S. provider of digital grocery solutions, and the provider of grocery ecommerce data to Nielsen.