Sunday, May 3, 2009

Costco Hot Dogs

Costco Hot Dog with Soda

The other day I went to Costco and bought a hot dog.  For those that do not know, Costco Hot Dogs are one of the best deals around if you like hot dogs.  For $1.50 you get a pretty good size hot dog and a refillable drink.  It has always been one of the best deals around.

But as I was eating my hot dog the other day, I got to thinking if it this hot dog deal was a "good" thing.  I thought of the problem in two ways.

  1. This is the type of thing that is leading America to be obese.  The hot dog and soda is about 700 to 800 calories.  All for $1.50. That is just nuts and encourages people to over consume.

  2. This deal is a marvel of economic efficiency.  You can get so much for so little.

Every time I see a deal like this, it makes me think of all the things that had to happen to actually get that product into my hand.  A pig had to be raised and then slaughtered.  The meat than had to be butchered and formed into a dog.  This had to be packaged and then shipped to the Costco.  A driver had to drive that dog to the Costco where it was unloaded.  Someone took that dog and cooked it.  All these people were paid for their time.  The material costs include feeding of the pig, the packaging, and the cost of gasoline.

Now factor in the fact that the soda, taxes that are paid, and a typical retail margin of 10%, and that dog at the wholesale level is less than $1.  That is simply amazing to me.  We live in a society where so much is possible for so little.  But perhaps things have come a little bit too easy.  When you can consume that much for that little, is it any wonder why we have some of the health issues we do?  What do you think, do the pros have having cheap and available food outweigh the cons of the health risks it presents?


  1. It's not the responsibility of the economy to regulate what people consume any more than it's the government's. It's up to the consumer to decide, okay, this hot dog is delicious and cheap, but do I need it?

    Hardware stores often have fantastic hot dog stands out front. Not just dogs, either, but brats, kraut, etc. Yum!

  2. Sounds like Costco is taking a loss on those dogs to keep hungry people in the store (or to get them inside in the first place). I was at Ikea this past weekend and I was lured into eating at the incredibly cheap cafe there.

  3. Love that stuff! The awesome food deal definitely keeps me coming back.

  4. Yeah, this has to be a loss leader. I'm not sure how they can make a profit at these prices

  5. not necessarily. my parents run a restaurant and tell me they could turn a profit charging $1.50 for the same.

  6. I normally avoid hot dogs but this picture is giving me ideas on what to have for dinner.

  7. I agree that if Costco had all their food courts inside (like IKEA), they would get more business or at least people to stay in the store longer.

  8. These are quarter pound, ALL BEEF, well seasoned Franks. They used to be Kosher. but I guess they became too expensive and Costco wanted to keep the low price. Personally I usually like Kosher hot the past, my favorite was Shmulka Bernstein, four to the pound, extra garlic, but they have not been in business for years. Unless you are fixated on the government telling you what to eat, Costco franks and "Polish sausages" are tasty high quality bargains. Use some self control in how many you eat.