Blog - A Burning Question: Do Millionaires Prefer Hot Dogs or Burgers?


As we move to the end of summer, many of us will be firing up the grills to celebrate Labor Day.  Picnics have become much more exotic as we continue to refine what we should (and shouldn’t eat).  Hosting a party today may subject the hostess to dealing with gluten-free, Paleo-only, sugar-free and vegan (of many varieties) guests.  It certainly changes the planning that is required for a party ... even a good old-fashioned barbeque.

Well, I grew up in the Midwest where barbeques consisted primarily of brats, hot dogs, burgers … and anything covered in mayonnaise or cheese.  There was also a lot of barbeque sauce.  Potato salad, baked beans, jello “surprise” and green beans baked in cream sauce were (and remain) standard fare at family events.

At Spectrem, we thought it might be important to find out how Millionaires celebrate these events.  Now, while we may be willing to acknowledge that these trends vary by the geographic region the Millionaires may inhabit, we wanted to identify key trends.

So what do Millionaires prefer for their Labor Day festivities?  Buns down, hamburgers beat hot dogs at 80 percent vs. hot dogs at 43 percent.  Burgers won regardless of age group or political affiliation. Millionaires under the age of 40 are more likely than previous generations to grab a hot dog (55 percent vs. 51 percent of those between 41 to 50, 43 percent of Baby Boomers ages 51 to 60, and 43 percent of those 61 and older).  But two-thirds of those under the age of 40 still prefer burgers at 64 percent.  Additionally, 88 percent of Gen-Xers, 81% of Baby Boomers and 76 percent of those 61 and older prefer burgers.

But burgers were not the first choice food item of Millionaires.  Eighty percent of Millionaires indicated that Steak was their favorite item to barbeque.  (I guess Millionaires can afford the steaks ... so why eat burgers?)  What else do Millionaires like to eat for Labor Day and other barbeques?

  •  Chicken (73 percent)
  •  Veggies (44 percent)
  •  Fish (41 percent)
  •  Brats (36 percent)
  •  Potatoes (24 percent)

It’s interesting to note that younger Millionaires are more likely to eat healthier menu items than older Millionaires.  Fifty-nine percent are grilling veggies and 55 percent are grilling fruit (compared to 44 percent of overall respondents).  Younger Millionaires are also more likely to grill potatoes at 50 percent vs. 25 percent overall.  I guess the gluten-free, Paleo friendly healthy eaters probably won’t be serving potato salad!

Some final interesting grilling facts:

  • Republicans are more likely than Democrats to choose hot dogs and burgers to grill.  Democrats prefer chicken, fish and veggies.
  • Republicans are more likely to choose brats while Democrats are more likely to choose steaks.

So I will be pulling together my own Midwestern barbeque.  Full of foods that we really shouldn’t eat.  I’m sure my Millennial daughter in New York will be grilling fish or something.   But brats and burgers are the mainstay.  Or maybe we should just go out?


Happy Labor Day!


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