What People Buy Most For Fourth Of July Cookouts

The most-purchased condiment probably isn't what you would expect.

The grills will be out and the fireworks will be lit, but are any two Fourth of July celebrations the same? Sort of, turns out. Instacart, the grocery delivery service, recently took a look at its customers' buying habits over the seven days leading up to July 4, 2022 and found some interesting trends in the most commonly purchased items.

If Instacart orders are indicative of American shopping habits as a whole, then hamburgers, hot dogs, and red-white-and-blue desserts are sure to line tables across the country this weekend. However, some Independence Day staples look to be more essential than others. Take for example, hot dogs and hamburgers. Which summer staple is the most popular?

Hot dogs vs. hamburgers on the Fourth of July

Instacart found that 30 states purchase more hot dog buns than hamburger buns for the Fourth of July. Regionally though, states in the northwestern, northeastern, and southeastern parts of the country bought more hamburger buns than hot dog buns. Based on the data, it seems that most barbecue hosts are allowing guests to pick their own sides in the burger versus dog debate.

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Instacart listed the top five items most likely to be ordered with hot dog buns and the top five items most likely to be ordered with hamburger buns. Unsurprisingly, the two types of buns were in the top two of each other's lists. Hot dogs and beef patties were also both near the top of each list, followed by side dishes like canned chili and frozen fries.

Although it can't be confirmed via bun purchases whether people actually eat more hamburgers or hot dogs—especially considering children who might reject a bun in favor of dipping hot dogs directly into a puddle of ketchup, or the continuing prevalence of keto diets—Instacart considers the purchase data to be the best indicator of how many of each people are consuming across the country. Instacart also determined that if all the hot dog buns delivered in the seven-day period leading up to July 4 were filled with hot dogs, it would take a world-record hot dog eating champion 313 days to finish eating them all.

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The most popular condiments at Fourth of July barbecues

But what are these grill stars without their condiments? Brats. Polish sausage. Ballpark franks. Plant-based burgers. Portobello mushroom burgers. A juicy quarter-pound grass-fed beef burger. None of these would be as satisfying without toppings and condiments.

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Per Instacart purchase data, relish is the most purchased condiment for Fourth of July, with a 79% spike in orders for the seven days leading up to Independence Day. Far behind relish comes mustard, with a 31% uptick leading up to the Fourth. Ketchup and mayonnaise both showed a 22% increase.

Now, before the ketchup haters and mustard fans start calling shenanigans on this data, it should be noted that Instacart has some disclaimers. "Relish sales beat all others by a long shot, growing by 79% the week of the 4th — most likely because ketchup, mayo, and mustard are more common kitchen staples, whereas relish is more likely to be purchased for festive BBQs," Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart's trends expert, said in the report. Yet again, pickles for the win.

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