Brands That Have Become Part of America's July 4th Traditions
Since 1776, Americans have celebrated the USA’s birthday on July 4th with festivities that include fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues. It’s also a big spending day, with the National Retail Federation predicting Americans will shell out $7.52 billion on food items alone for the holiday weekend. So as America celebrates its 245th birthday, let’s take a look at some of the companies that are often part of the day’s festivities.
There are few foods more American than the hot dog. Though its roots lie in Germany, the hot dog (or frankfurter, frank, wiener, weenie or coney) has long since been enthusiastically adopted by Americans, who eat some 20 billion of them in a year. Nathan’s Famous Inc. (Tii:NATH) is not only a leading brand in the hot dog business, its annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has become an Independence Day tradition. In case you were wondering, in last year’s competition (held without fans due to the pandemic), competitive eater Joey Chestnut set a record by eating 75 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes.
The most popular soda brand in the United States, The Coca-Cola Company (Tii:KO) is a mainstay at family cookouts, picnics and any gathering. Created in May 1886 by Dr. John S. Pemberton, a pharmacist in Atlanta, the beverage only sold nine drinks per day in its first year. Over a century later, more than 1.9 billion servings of the company’s beverages are enjoyed in more than 200 countries daily. Though the soft drink manufacturer’s net revenues declined 11% for 2020, demand is picking up again as several major revenue streams – entertainment venues, sporting events and theme parks – are again ramping up operations after last summer’s shutdowns.
For those who prefer adult beverages, July 4th is also one of the country’s top drinking holidays. At the top of the adult beverage list is – unsurprisingly – beer. Americans spend more than $1 billion on the beverage on Independence Day alone. Bud Light remains the most widely consumed beer in the U.S. despite imports siphoning market share. Though owned by Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (Tii:BUD), the Budweiser brand remains very popular with American consumers – particularly on July 4th. One of the nation’s largest craft brewers, The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (Tii:SAM), is another leading beer producer. Its flagship brand, named after Founding Father Samuel Adams, couldn’t possibly be more American.
Another July 4th tradition is the Macy’s Inc (Tii:M) Fourth of July Fireworks display. Held each year (since the 1976 Bicentennial) in New York City, the event is televised nationally and attracts millions of tourists to the Big Apple. This year’s musical lineup includes Black Pumas, Blake Shelton, Coldplay, the Jonas Brothers, Reba McEntire, OneRepublic and more. On the business side, the retailer is looking to reverse last year’s performance in which sales dropped nearly 30%. To that end, Macy’s is aggressively marketing its July 4th sales, offering discounts on beauty items, houseware, clothing, shoes, kitchen gadgets, home décor, and more.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 47.7 million Americans will embark on a trip between July 1–5 – the overwhelming majority traveling by car. With travel volumes expected to approach pre-pandemic levels, theme park operators will certainly have cause for optimism this weekend. Popular destinations operated by SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (Tii:SEAS), Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (Tii:SIX) and The Walt Disney Company (Tii:DIS) will pull out all the stops, including fireworks displays, concerts and a host of special events, to bring July 4th weekend visitors through their gates.
As Americans prepare for their July 4th celebrations, these and other brands will vie for the billions in consumer spending this weekend in hopes of offsetting what was, for most, an abysmal 2020.