Americans probably won’t be gobbling up more burgers and hot dogs this Fourth of July than last, as the overall spend for the average family will be on par with 2015.
But merchants selling food and party supplies will make out slightly better since more people are expected to celebrate the holiday.
That’s all according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey of the Fourth of July conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. The survey of 6,811 consumers was conducted June 1-7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.
“Americans are ready to kick-start summer by enjoying Independence Day with family and friends,” Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer of the NRF, said Wednesday.
“Whether it’s low gas prices or just good weather, more people plan to celebrate this year, and that means more shoppers are online and in stores as they prepare for the festivities,” Shay said.
The survey estimates that 214 million people will celebrate the Fourth of July, leading to an expected total spending of $6.8 billion, up 1.4 percent from last year.
Consumers will spend an average of $71.34 per household on food for barbecues and picnics, essentially flat from last year’s $71.23.
Among those surveyed, 65 percent plan to attend a cookout/barbecue or a picnic while 43 percent will watch fireworks or participate in a community celebration and 12 percent will attend a parade.
The survey also found that American families are “well-stocked” on patriotic items with nearly two-thirds of those surveyed indicating that they own a U.S. flag; about half indicating they own patriotic-themed apparel such as T-shirts and hats, and a third said they own patriotic decorations. Nonetheless, 25 percent plan to purchase more of these items in preparation for the holiday.
Of those surveyed, 12.7 percent, or an estimated 31 million, said they will head out of town, though only 21 percent said the low gas prices affected their decision to travel. That’s down a bit from 22 percent last year and a peak of 47 percent when gas prices were higher in 2011.
“Fortunately for most people this Fourth of July, gas prices will not affect their travel plans,” said Pam Goodfellow, director of consumer insights for Prosper Insights. “Many consumers will take advantage of these low gas prices and head to the beach or other vacation spots to spend quality time with family and friends.”