(WTVO) — With many companies raising prices on certain products to fight inflation, lovers of Costco’s hot dogs can breathe a sigh of relief.
Craig Jelinek, CEO of the chain, had a one word answer when asked if stores would be raising the prices of the crowd-favorite snack, according to CNBC. That one word? “No.”
That does not mean that all food-court treats will stay the same price, however, as the chicken tender basket has been raised from $2.99 to $3.99. Despite the higher prices for certain food options, the hot dog and soda combo has been $1.50 since it was first introduced in 1984, according to Mental Floss, and as of right now it looks like it is going to stay that way.
There was once a time that Costco was considering increasing the price of the combo, when Jelinek approached co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal about how the chain was losing money due to the price of the combo. Sinegal had a simple reply.
“If you raise [the price of] the effing hot dog, I will kill you,” Sinegal said. “Figure it out.”
So figure it out Jelinek did. Jenlick said that people would pay $1.75 for the meal if they had to, but that extra 25 cents will not be more valuable then the goodwill and foot traffic from customers that has allowed the price to stay the same for the past 35 years.
Costco has had to adapt to make sure that the price stays the same. In 2009, when supply costs were threatening to increase, they stopped using Hebrew National dogs and moved production in-house. When Coca-Cola was going to increase prices, the chain signed with Pepsi instead. Finally, when California enacted a soft-drink tax that would have raised prices, Costcos in the state started to include Diet Pepsi in the combo, which is not included in the tax.
Costco reportedly sells over 100 million hot dogs annually. That is more than every MLB stadium combined. With the popularity of the snack, as well as the chain’s clever ways of dodging price increase, it appears that the Costco hot dog will stay $1.50 for the foreseeable future.