Costco not raising hot dog combo price

A viral tweet claiming that Costco plans to increase the price of its $1.50 hot dog combo meal due to inflation is “false information,” the company says.

Since 1985, Costco’s $1.50 hot dog combo offering has been a company staple. In 2021, Costco sold more than 122 million hot dog and soda pop combinations worldwide, the company announced in January 2022.

May 18th a tweet The claim that Costco announced plans to raise the price of its hot dog combo from $1.50 to $2.50 due to inflation went viral, garnering more than 5,000 likes. The claim was too shared by multiple verified Twitter accountsincluding the House GOPwho blamed the Biden administration for the alleged price hike on hot dogs.

THE QUESTION

Is Costco raising the price of its hot dog combo?

THE SOURCES

  • Bob Nelson, senior vice president of finance and investor relations at Costco
  • Independent VERIFY surveys at Costco locations in California and Maryland

THE ANSWER

That's wrong.

No, Costco is not increasing the price of its hot dog combo.

WHAT WE FOUND

Bob Nelson, Costco’s senior vice president of finance and investor relations, addressed the hot dog price hike claims during the company’s May 26 Q3 earnings call. Nelson, who called the claims “false information,” told shareholders the company had no plans to raise the price of its hot dog combo any time soon.

“I would like to address some misinformation that has been circulating on social media and some other media, alleging that we have increased the price of our $1.50 hot dog and soda combos sold in our food courts. Let me just say that when we introduced the hot dog and soda combo in the mid 80’s the price was $1.50. Today’s price is $1.50 and we have no plans to increase the price at this time,” Nelson said.

VERIFY also conducted our own independent investigations at Costcos in San Diego and Glenarden, Maryland and can confirm that the hot dog combo was available as of March 6th.

Craig Jelinek, President, CEO and director of Costco, said he once raised the price hike for the popular cheap eats but encountered a threat from the company’s co-founder Jim Sinegal.

Telling the story during a Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce luncheon in 2018, Jelinek said he went to Sinegal one day and explained, “Jim, we can’t sell this hot dog for fifty dollars. We’re losing our rear end.”

Jelinek said Sinegal responded by saying, “If you raise the damn hotdog, I’ll kill you.” Find out.”

Jelinek said Costco figured out how to avoid a price hike by building its own hot dog manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles and Chicago and selling the hot dogs under its Kirkland Signature brand.

“By having the discipline to say, ‘You won’t be able to raise your price. You have to find out,” we took over and started making our hot dogs. We’re keeping it at $1.50 and making enough money to make a fair return,” Jelinek said, according to news reports.

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Alley Einstein

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