Even rising inflation can't shake the famously cheap price of Costco's ultra-popular hot dog combo.
In a move that's sure to thrill fans of the big-box retail store, Costco’s chief financial officer Richard Galanti recently made it clear that the company has no plans to raise the price of the $1.50 hot dog and soda combo.
As first reported by MarketWatch, Galanti referenced the iconic food court combo during a call about the company’s fourth fiscal quarter results. When asked if Costco plans to raise prices in some areas to offset others, the CFO offered the following response:
We really don’t look at it that way. I think the thing I mentioned earlier about there (being) some businesses that are doing well with margin, like (the) gas business, (in) a smaller way — in the travel business, those things help us be more aggressive in other areas, or, as you mentioned, hold the price on the hot dog and the soda a little longer — forever. But at the end of the day, no, I don’t think we necessarily look to find places where we can harvest margin.Richard Galanti, Costco’s Chief Financial Officer
That statement is likely music to Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal's ears. After all, the company alum once told a co-worker that he'd kill him if he raised the price of the hot dog combo. At the time, Sinegal was the CEO of the company and was having a conversation with the company's current CEO W. Craig Jelinek.
“I came to (Sinegal) once and I said, ‘Jim, we can’t sell this hot dog for a buck fifty,” Jelineck said at the time, according to 425 Business. “We are losing our rear ends.’ And he said, ‘If you raise (the price of the) effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out.’ That’s all I really needed.”
In 2009, a reporter from The Seattle Times posed the following question to Sinegal while discussing the budget-friendly combo: “If that price ever goes up, what will it mean?”
In response, Sinegal said he would have to be dead before that happened and shared the following sentiment.
“We’re known for that hot dog. That’s something you don’t mess with.”
The popular food court item hasn’t changed in price since it was added to the menu in the 1980s. TODAY Food reached out to Costco to ask if the company has any plans to change it in the future, but a spokesperson had no comment.
Like all retailers, Costco is experiencing rising prices for raw materials and products as inflation increases. The membership-only store even recently raised the prices of two food court favorites — the chicken bake (from $2.99 to $3.99) and 20-ounce soda (from $0.59 to $0.69), much to the dismay of its customers.
“The chicken bake at Costco was just raised from $2.99 to $3.99. This inflation bulls—t has reached insane levels,” one user commented on Twitter after hearing the news. “This must be stopped.”
Another posted the following reaction: “Apparently @Costco thinks raising the price of the Chicken Bake from $2.99 to $3.99 is a good way to keep my business. We’ll see."
But, hey, at least the hot-dog-and-soda combo is safe — for now.