Summer starts as early as April for a quarter of Americans

Nearly a third of Americans prefer a good hot dog over a Thanksgiving feast (32%), according to new research. A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults found that people are psyched for summer, feeling “very” or “extremely” excited about the change of season (54%). A third of respondents are so excited that they considered the start of summer as happening earlier than June (31%), looking out for warm weather (50%) and longer days (21%) as the hallmarks of the season. And people get so excited for summer that they begin switching their wardrobe to warm-weather clothing as early as April (26%). Conducted by OnePoll for Chinet, the survey also found that Americans are keeping busy this summer, with 68% saying they’re likely to attend the most gatherings during this season. This summer, the average respondent plans on having four pool/beach days, bringing along chips (57%), lemonade (56%), iced tea (55%), fresh fruit (54%) and sandwiches (51%). Similarly, they’ll go to five barbecues, expecting to chow down on burgers (77%), hot dogs (72%), chicken (65%) and ribs (62%). Potato salad (62%) and corn (53%) are also important, as respondents averaged four side dishes are necessary when eating food from the grill. Gatherings will be all the rage, as people said they’ll attend an average of three birthday parties, picnics and outdoor social events, where they’ll snack on sandwiches (62%), followed by fresh fruit (54%) and chips and dip (53%). For more momentous occasions like weddings or wedding showers, dainty options like finger sandwiches are a must (52%), along with fresh fruit (49%), cocktails (45%) and pastries (38%). No matter where they’re going, 40% enjoy taking advantage of the weather and eating outdoors when possible during the summertime because of the fresh air (79%) and sun (71%). So much so, that more than half of these respondents said they wish they could eat outdoors all year round (58%). Thirty-one percent are also less bothered by eating “messy foods” in the summer than at other times of the year. “Summer is a great time to gather with your friends and family for an outdoor hangout,” says Melissa Rakos, Chinet® brand manager. “Whether it’s hosting a backyard barbecue, eating dinner at the lake, or snacking poolside, disposable tableware means more time to spend with loved ones and less time worrying about the cleanup of messy meals.” Food makes the season for some, as seven in 10 agree that some foods just taste better during this time of year (71%) like watermelon (74%), ice cream (68%) and lemonade (59%). Cookout staples such as barbecued chicken (54%), hot dogs (54%) and corn on the cob (54%) also made the list of foods that taste better during summer. Half of those surveyed agree that of all the seasons, summer has the best food like fresh fruit, cold drinks and barbecue above fall’s Thanksgiving meals and apple pie or winter’s soup and hot chocolate. In the summer, respondents said they’re likely to consume snacks (37%) and light meals (61%) the most, while heavy meals are reserved for winter (64%). Interestingly, 32% are likely to cook more during the summertime than in other seasons. When hosting others for summer events, nearly half of respondents get creative by cooking new food (48%). “Summer months welcome the opportunity to try new recipes for your next gathering,” said Rakos. “We encourage everyone to carve out time to find these little moments while preventing them from being overwhelmed with hosting and cleaning up.” Survey methodology: This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Chinet between April 26 and May 2, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).