Americans Expected to Go for Mostly Traditional July 4 Foods

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Americans Expected to Go for Mostly Traditional July 4 Foods

The anniversary of the United States’ Declaration of Independence from England apparently calls for the enjoyment of a classic all-American meal, as hamburger sales increase an impressive 105 percent in anticipation of the holiday, according to recent data from online grocery expert MyWebGrocer.

Of course, picnic and party staple though they are, burgers won’t be the only food to show major bottom-line benefits this July 4. Grocery sales overall are set to soar as the country kicks into celebration mode this weekend. Sales of veggie burgers go up by 93 percent in the week leading up to July, vs. the week prior, noted Colchester, Vt.-based MWG, adding — to no one’s surprise — that all of the usual barbecue “fixin’s,” including pickles and buns, experience a big sales bump, too (see the accompanying chart).

These days, as they plan their time-honored Independence Day activities, celebrants’ shopping habits and gatherings owe more to technology than ever before. “Today, we see more consumers embracing social and mobile media as they plan parties,” said Rebecca Roose, social media manager of MWG, which creates and manages digital solutions for clients. “They are inviting friends to picnics using Facebook invites, and searching for sales at their grocery store using mobile apps. It’s a mix of old new. The traditions — like fireworks and hamburgers — live on. But the ways in which shoppers plan and communicate is constantly evolving.”

Meanwhile, when it comes to the favored snacks of Americans on the national holiday marking the birth of their nation, which nosh takes the top spot? According to The NPD Group/SnackTrack for the two years ending March 2010, the two most popular snack foods eaten on the Glorious Fourth are, rather unexpectedly, fresh fruit (bananas were No. 1, followed by apples, watermelon and strawberries) and, not so unexpectedly, potato chips. Other snack foods among the top 10 that are eaten more frequently on July 4 are tortilla chips, doughnuts, salsa, dips and chewy candy.

Naturally enough, popular activities while eating snack foods during the holiday include parties and picnics, which represented 19 percent of eating occasions in NPD/SnackTrack’s findings. One out of every four snack-food eating occasions (27 percent of the time) on Independence Day, three or more people are also eating the same snack, the research further found.

Additionally, 20 percent of July 4 snack-eating occasions take place away from home, the top two non-home locations being someone else’s house and outdoors, according to the research. This compares to 6 percent of snack food eating occasions at those locations on an average day during the rest of the year.

SnackTrack, which bills itself as “the definitive source for snack food consumption information in Canada and the United States,” is a service of Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research provider NPD.