The Costco food court is known for its tasty treats and low prices. Although some favorites are gone for the time being, one staple has been around since the 1980s and its cost has never changed! And good news — the Costco hot dog and soft drink deal is likely to stay.
Over 151 million hot dogs and soft drinks are sold at the food court every year, according to Business Insider. The deal hardly makes any money. So in 2009, Costco began producing the weiners themselves. Facilities in Los Angeles and later Chicago took on the production instead of Costco buying them from Hebrew National. This didn’t solve all the money problems, though. (Other iconic American foods haven’t had the same fate as the hot dog — here are 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.)
Back in 2018, news broke that one of the co-founders of the wholesale chain refused to raise the price when asked about it, Business Insider says. In order to offset the money lost, Jim Sinegal told Craig Jelinek, who has been the CEO since 2012, to “figure it out.”
Jelinek said he didn’t think it would be a big issue if the price went up $0.25. But Sinegal insisted that would not happen. In the end, Jelinek agrees that “when you think of Costco, you think of the $1.50 hot dog (and soda),” he says, according to Mashed.
In 1984, the hot dogs were part of a Hebrew National stand outside a Diego, California store. Getting the deal today, after over 30 years of other customers paying the same amount, is a nice way to cap off a shopping trip, some employees say.
But the Costco hot dog and soft drink deal is more than just a price win. It’s actually a better choice nutritionally than other menu items. The hot dog can range from 540-700 calories and 32 g of fat, 1,520-1,550 mg of sodium, 42-113 g of carbs, and 22 g of protein depending on the toppings.
For more info on the healthiest choices after your Costco shopping trip, here are The Best&Worst Menu Items at Costco’s Food Court.