SURVEY: Americans expected to spend $7.1 billion as they celebrate the Fourth of July this year

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans are expected to spend $7.1 billion on food for cookouts and picnics as they celebrate the Fourth of July this year, up from $6.8 billion in 2016, according to the annual survey released today (June 22, 2017) by the National Retail Federation and conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics.

According to the survey, 219 million Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, or 88 percent of those surveyed. A total of 162 million — 66 percent of those surveyed — plan to take part in a cookout or picnic, spending an average $73.42 per person, up from last year’s $71.34. The numbers cover only food items, not other holiday-related spending.

“With warmer than average weather so far this summer, Americans should be in the mood to head outside to celebrate, whether it’s watching fireworks or firing up the BBQ,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers will be well-stocked with everything from flags to burgers to help Americans prepare for their holiday activities.”

The survey found that 65 percent of consumers already own a U.S. flag, 53 percent patriotic-themed apparel such as T-shirts, bathing suits or shoes, and 40 percent own patriotic decorations. Nonetheless, 28 percent plan on purchasing more patriotic items.

Do you plan to purchase patriotic merchandise within the next 30 days?Yes: 27.6 %No: 38.5 %Unsure: 34.0 %

NRF Independence Day Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

When it comes to other activities to celebrate Independence Day, 44 percent of

Americans will attend a firework show or community celebration and 14 percent will watch a parade.

The holiday weekend is also a popular time for travel, with 32.9 million Americans saying they will head out of town (13 percent of those celebrating), up from 31.1 million from last year. Only 18 percent say the price of gasoline will affect their plans, down from 21 percent last year and a record low since the survey began in 2004. The number who said high gas prices would discourage them from spending for Independence Day peaked at 59 percent in 2008.

“With more Americans planning to travel this Independence Day, gas prices are far less of a factor than they were in previous years,” Prosper Insights Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow said. “Many consumers will take advantage of low gas prices by taking long road trips with their family or heading to the beach for a long weekend.”

The survey of 7,258 consumers was conducted June 5-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & Analytics is a global leader in consumer intent data serving the financial services, marketing technology, and retail industries. We provide global authoritative market information on US and China consumers via curated insights and analytics. By integrating a variety of data including economic, behavioral and attitudinal data, Prosper helps companies accurately predict consumers’ future behavior to help identify market behaviors, optimize marketing efforts, and improve the effectiveness of demand generation campaigns. www.ProsperInsights.com

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

USDA’s FSIS: take extra food safety precautions when planning your menu on the Fourth of July

WASHINGTON, 2016-Jun-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — No matter where you find yourself on the Fourth of July, you will probably see lots of food, beverages and grass-stained sneakers. Whether you’re enjoying a barbecue in the great outdoors, traveling to see family or friends, or spending time at home, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is urging everyone to take extra food safety precautions when planning their menu.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 6 Americans (that’s 48 million people) suffer from foodborne illness each year, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.

“Because foodborne bacteria thrive and multiply more quickly in warmer temperatures, foodborne illness can spike during summer,” said Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza. “This is likely because people are spending more time outside – away from the sink and equipment in the kitchen that help consumers keep food safe.”

The Danger Zone is the temperature range between 40 °F and 140 °F in which foodborne bacteria can grow rapidly to dangerous levels that can cause illness. Leaving perishables out too long in the Danger Zone is one of the most common mistakes people make, especially during warmer months.

Keep Food Out of the Danger Zone

The USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline, staffed by USDA food safety experts, routinely gets calls from consumers with questions about the perishable foods left out too long. Below are their recommendations on how to steer clear of the Danger Zone this Fourth of July:

  • Without refrigeration or a heat source, perishables should not be left out more than two hours if the temperature is at or below 90 ⁰F, and only one hour if the temperature is at or above 90 ⁰F. Since the weather will likely be very hot on July 4th, food should be returned to the cooler within an hour. If you are not sure how long food has been sitting out, throw it out immediately.
  • Always keep cold food COLD, at or below 40 °F, in coolers or in containers with a cold source such as ice or frozen gel packs. Keep hot food HOT, at or above 140 °F, on the grill or in insulated containers, heated chafing dishes, warming trays and/or slow cookers. If food needs to be reheated, reheat it to 165 °F.
  • Pack an appliance thermometer in your cooler to ensure food stays at or below 40 °F. Divide large amounts of food into shallow containers for fast chilling and easier use.
  • Packing drinks in a separate cooler is strongly recommended, so the food cooler isn’t opened frequently.  Keep the cooler in the shade, and try to cover it with a blanket or tarp to keep it cool. Replenish the ice if it melts.
  • Use the food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry and seafood. Use our Is It Done Yet? guide to learn where to place the thermometer in each item. You absolutely cannot tell whether the meat is safely cooked by just looking.
  • If you plan to marinate meat and/or poultry for several hours or overnight prior to the event, make sure to marinate them in the refrigerator – not on the counter. If you plan to reuse the marinade from raw meat or poultry, make sure to boil it first to destroy any harmful bacteria.
  • To ensure safety, leftovers must be put in shallow containers for quick cooling and refrigerated to 40 ⁰F or below within two hours.

If you have food storage questions, download our FoodKeeper application. This app offers guidance on the safe storage or more than 400 food and beverage items. It’ll give you a peace of mind knowing you served your dish safely.

As always, FSIS would like everyone to remember the four easy food safety steps of Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill and have a food safe Fourth of July!

If you have questions about the Danger Zone, or any other food safety topics, call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888MPHotline or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov. These services are available from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, in English and Spanish.

Contact:

Food Safety Education Staff
Press Inquiries (202) 720-9113
Consumer Inquiries (888) 674-6854

Source: USDA