When we think about items that are inherently American, we often point to baseball, apple pie, and muscle cars. These are the hallmarks of our national culture, and are often depicted patriotically here in the US.
But there is another piece of Americana that we often find ourselves fiercely defending as well: The hot dog.
This is the quintessential American meal that we imbibe during sporting events, a number of holidays, birthdays, cookouts, and any other occasion that presents itself appropriately. They are ingrained in our culture in the same ways as the aforementioned items, if not a bit more innocuously.
The founder of big box retailer Costco is a huge fan of the finger food, with the retailer selling millions of them to shoppers each year.
This led to a fiery exchange over the price of the snack.
A resurfaced exchange between the co-founder of Costco and the warehouse club’s current CEO has sent social media users into hysterics over an iconic offering – the $1.50 hot dog and soda special.
On Sunday, a screenshot went viral with a tidbit from a 2018 story by Mental Floss. The Twitter post has since been shared over 91,000 times.
According to the article, current Costco president and CEO W. Craig Jelinek once grumbled that the superstore was losing money with their quarter-pound hot dog and 20 oz. soda special. As serious shoppers know, Costco hasn’t raised the price of the legendary combo since it first hit menus in 1984.
Just how serious was the conversation?
In reply, Costco co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal made his opinion terrifyingly clear.
“If you raise [the price of] the effing hot dog, I will kill you,” Sinegal told his successor, per the outlet. “Figure it out.”
And they certainly did figure it out; Costco sold over 150 million hot dog combos in 2019 alone.