A hot dog a day may not keep the doctor away. But can it help fuel excitement around a meme coin?

Inspired by Costco’s flagship hot dog—and its decades-long price tag of $1.50 (plus drink)—a crop of crypto traders have found themselves engaged with Costco Hot Dog (COST). The Solana-based meme coin is an unofficial riff on the wholesale retail giant’s product, yet many holders are fans of the menu item and its dependable, inflation-flouting price point.

That includes the crypto trader Joe, 28, who declined to provide his last name. On Twitter (aka X), he has committed to eating a Costco hot dog every day until the meme coin achieves “price parity” with the savory good, which some in crypto view as a perishable store of value.

“That's pretty funny,” Joe recalled thinking in an interview with Decrypt, inspired by the dog’s unbudging price when he came across the token weeks ago. “So, then I was like: Well, I guess I have to prove it to everyone that it's still $1.50, so I'll just start eating one every single day.”


Now 46 days into his commitment, the trader has emerged as Costco Hot Dog’s de facto mascot, garnering a mention on the token’s website to “SAVE JOE.” Linked to the project’s Twitter page itself, a disclaimer states there that the project is “not affiliated with Costco Wholesale.”

Much like Solana-based meme coins for Gamestop and AMC that rose—and quickly fell—last week amid Roaring Kitty’s apparent online return, the token plays on an existing, valuable brand. But according to Joe, the meme coin’s community has just as much to do with staying ahead of inflation—he said his hotdog habit has indeed saved him some dough.

But at what $COST?


Joe said he started eating hot dogs the same day he discovered the meme coin, but initially, his gesture was supposed to be a one-off joke. Encouraged by the engagement his online endeavors received, however, he grew comfortable quickly with eating hot dogs for the foreseeable future.

“Everyone’s really concerned with my health, but it’s really not that bad,” he said. “I used to eat the same meal for 15 years straight, anyways, which was a ham sandwich.”

Costco says its Kirkland-brand dogs are made with 100% USDA-inspected beef. Still, studies have shown that the high consumption of red meat can lead to chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Costco did not respond to a request for comment from Decrypt.

Joe said that crypto trading has become a full-time job for him since getting into it in 2017. And witnessing the popularity of meme coins over the past year, he posited that it’s easier for someone who’s new to the space to make a cultural connection with a meme coin, as opposed to wrapping their brains around other tokens tied to comparatively complex projects.

At this point, though, Joe said he feels the pressure when eating. He said he only owns $3,000 of the meme coin—much less than other tokens he owns that trade on little more than vibes—but it feels as if people are counting on his ability to stay consistent.


With a soda included on the side since its introduction in 1984, the price of Costco’s frank has remained unwavering in the face of inflation. That’s despite a 53% rise in the average price of frankfurters from 2019 to this April, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Whereas other corporations continue to jack up their prices alongside inflation, they still maintain their hotdog at $1.50,” he said. “I mean, you can go in there and feed a family of five for $7.50. There's a reason Costco is so successful.”

Known in the retail industry as loss leaders, Costco sells some items, including its hot dogs and rotisserie chickens, at a loss to attract customers. Perhaps meme coins are comparable as digital assets drawing users to a given ecosystem with their occasionally lucrative gains.

Trading hands at $0.036, as of this writing, the Costco Hot Dog meme coin has a long way to go to achieving so-called price parity—a more than 4,000% increase, according to CoinGecko.

Joe said the staff at his local Costco—a 20 minute drive from where he spends most of his time—has definitely picked up on his newfound affinity. However, Joe has kept his intentions close to his chest, and part of him would like to keep it that way, he said.

“I just hop on over to Costco and see my main girl, Rachel,” he said of his daily trek, referring to a Costco employee he’s established a rapport with. “I work remote, so getting out is a real plus.”

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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