The world has changed so much since 1985 but the price of Costco Wholesale’s hot dog-and-soda special — $1.50 — has remained constant.
Put another way, the $1.50 price indexed for inflation should be $4.11 by now. CEO Craig Jelinek famously noticed how much they were losing on the special, and broached the idea of hiking the price to co-founder Jim Sinegal, who threatened to kill him if he did. As Jelinek is still alive, one can deduce the current price.
But an internet rumor a few weeks ago said, even Costco was succumbing to inflation pressure. Costco denied it then, and on Thursday’s night’s analysts’ conference call, denied it once more.
“I want to address some incorrect information floating around on social media and a few other media outlets claiming that we have increased the price of our $1.50 hotdog-and-soda combinations sold in our food courts,” its senior vice president for investor relations and treasury, Robert Nelson, told analysts.
” Let me just say the price, when we introduced the hot dog-soda combo in the mid-’80s, was $1.50. The price today is $1.50, and we have no plans to increase the price at this time.”
If you like croissants, however, well, too bad.
“As you know, we’re not the first one to go up when we have higher costs. I think just recently, it may have been after the end of the quarter, reluctantly, we took up the price of our muffins and our croissants, I think, $1 as the price of a lot of those raw materials have continued to escalate to 2x and 3x and 4x what they were last year,” he said.
Nelson said the company’s labor productivity is still way above pre-pandemic levels but is reverting some. “It’s just that was extraordinary last year. And I think we’ll keep some of that,” he said.