How Costco Vigilantly Defends Low Price of Classic $1.50 Hot Dogs

How Costco Vigilantly Defends Low Price of Classic $1.50 Hot Dogs

This Is One “Sacrosanct” American Treasure Even Inflation Couldn’t Destroy

( – Everywhere Americans turn, they face nightmarish price increases, most notably at the pump and in the grocery store. Even so, they can sleep well at night knowing Costco doesn’t plan on raising the price of their hot dog and soda combo, which they sell for a whopping $1.50. Still, how do they do it?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation in the US has peaked at a four-decade-high, reaching 9.1%. That means prices have continued to increase throughout 2022. Yet, despite the record inflation rate, Costco has managed to keep its hot dog and soda combo to a cost of $1.50, a price set back in 1985. If the company altered the price to account for inflation, the cornerstone combo would cost customers $4.13.

In 2018, 425 Business spoke with Walter Jelinek, who became the CEO of Costco after co-founder Jim Sinegal retired. The topic of the hot dog price came up, and Jelinek explained there was a point in time when Sinegal allegedly and jokingly told him he would “kill him” if he changed the price on the hot dog. Jelinek mentioned it wouldn’t have been a big deal to increase the price a bit, but it’s all about keeping the mindset that when someone thinks of Costco, they think of the $1.50 hot dog combo.

The CEO explained they kept costs low by creating two of their own hot dog factories. Jelinek mentioned that Costco keeps the price at $1.50 but maintains costs low enough to make a fair return on the product.

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