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    July 4th Food Trends Have a Lot to Do With Tradition

    Hamburgers and hot dogs are among favorite holiday dishes.

    LOS ANGELES — U.S. consumers named traditional American foods as their top picks in a national poll on Fourth of July food eating and buying preferences conducted by Instantly Inc. More than 43 percent of respondents named hamburgers as their top Independence Day food choice, with hot dogs as the runner-up at 19 percent.

    For side dishes, consumers picked baked beans (51 percent), corn on the cob (60 percent) and potato salad (61 percent) as their top three favorites to eat during the holiday.

    Fifty percent of respondents chose Frito-Lay/Lay's as the chip brand they most associate with the Fourth of July, followed by a three-way tie between KC Masterpiece, Kettle Chips and Doritos at 11 percent each.

    "Since so many people celebrate the Fourth of July with food, this holiday is huge for brands and retailers," stated Instantly Chief Marketing Officer Andy Jolls. "Our poll suggests that consumers strongly associate the Fourth with time-honored traditions, so marketers might be better off looking to the past for inspiration rather than going too outside the box."

    When asked about the most important factor that contributes to their Independence Day food purchases, 34 percent of respondents cited following traditions.

    Thirty-five percent said the biggest factor is getting the most amount of food for the lowest cost. As a result, 70 percent plan to purchase food items and supplies for the holiday at a Walmart or Target superstore, while just 18 percent plan to shop at a specialty store such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Seventeen percent said they plan to shop at a convenience store.

    Beyond the holiday, consumers indicated they would like to see more food items with flavors traditionally associated with the Fourth of July, such as apple pie (18 percent), barbecue (24 percent) and cheeseburgers (13 percent), according to the report. Nearly three-quarters of Americans who are dieting or watching what they eat consider the Fourth of July a "cheat" day.

    When it comes to travel plans, approximately 50 percent of survey respondents said they plan to stay within 25 miles of home for the holiday, and 76 percent said they will stop at a grocery or convenience store on their way to a Fourth of July celebration.

    More than 1,000 respondents nationwide participated in the survey on Americans' perceptions and behaviors in regards to Independence Day. Complete results are available here.

    Instantly is a Los Angeles-based market research firm.

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