Americans love a celebration. They aren´t about to let a little thing like record-high gas prices stop them from whooping it up in honor of America´s birthday on July 4. More than 53 percent of people surveyed by the National Retail Federation say the price of gas won´t keep them at home on this Independence Day.
Wherever Americans drive in order to have a little red, white and blue fun, it´s a good bet that many will eat a hot dog or two. The U.S. Census Bureau, in a fun set of July 4th facts, says Americans will consume 150 million hot dogs this July 4 — with a one-in-four chance that any of the pork hot dogs that are eaten began as live hogs in the Great State of Iowa.
For July 4th revelers who choose to eat beef — in the form of hot dogs, burgers or steaks — chances are high that these items started out as cattle in Texas.
When American bellies are full and darkness falls this coming Tuesday night, the 40.8 percent of Americans who plan to sit back to enjoy a fireworks show might not realize that the exploding lights more than likely were made in China. The Census Bureau puts the total value of fireworks imported by the United States at $211 million, with $201.9 million of that coming from China.
Hot dogs, fireworks and Old Glory are three key components of any July 4 celebration. And in 2005, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags totaled $5.5 million — with the vast majority of this amount ($5 million) spent on U.S. flags made in — you guessed it — China.
The NRF´s survey reveals that 57.5 percent of Americans own an American flag, which leaves sizable amount of selling space for retailers who might capitalize on the patriotic spirit surrounding this 4th of July. Only 44.6 percent of those surveyed own patriotic apparel such as a hat or t-shirt, just 25 percent own July 4th-themed decorations, and only 21 percent have patriotic music in their collection.
It might be a Yankee Doodle Dandy idea to maximize the visibility of such merchandise over this holiday weekend in order to reel in the 20.3 percent of Americans who say they own no patriotic items.
Likewise, it may not be a bad idea to pop in a John Philip Sousa CD to entice shoppers into a patriotic mood.
Happy Birthday America — with a big thanks to China for helping us with the festivities.