To determine hot dog and hamburger consumption by state, 24/7 Tempo constructed an estimate based on data from Google Trends, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
First, data on sales at full- and limited-service restaurants classified as having a principal menu type as “hamburgers” from the Census Bureau’s 2012 Economic Census was adjusted for population using data from the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey.
Total sales at hamburger restaurants per capita were then converted to number of hamburger and hot dog units sold using $3.14 as the price of an average restaurant hamburger and $2.00 as the price of an average hot dog. The percentage of sales attributable to either hamburgers or hot dogs in each state was based on Google Trends data comparing the search popularity of the term “hamburger” to the search popularity for the term “hot dog” in each state.
To estimate the number of hamburgers and hot dogs consumed at home in addition to at restaurants, the estimated number of hamburgers and hot dogs consumed at restaurants per capita was adjusted by the ratio of U.S. food sales at full- and limited-service restaurants to total U.S. food sales at and away from home with data from the USDA.
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