Rampant inflation has Americans spending more than ever before over the 4th of July holiday and that means big money for corporations. Here’s who’s making the most profit off the festivities in this week’s Five for Friday.
Getting away is what summer is all about and that’s why airlines stand to make some serious profit. Jet fuel prices are up 134% since 2019. That’s pushing up the price of domestic flights to an average of $437 this weekend, a 45 percent increase from 2019 and the highest in five years, according to Hopper.
Planning to leave the country? Tickets have skyrocketed to an average of $1,200.
In spite of the high toll, AAA predicts 3.5 million Americans will take to the friendly skies over the holiday weekend, which means substantial profits for airlines, especially for the Big Four: American, Delta, United and Southwest.
#4: Oil companies
Big oil is known for its profit prowess, even after a down year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you can’t afford an expensive plane ticket or just want to go somewhere closer to home, a full tank of gas is still going to cost you with many across the country paying over $5 per gallon. AAA expects nearly 48 million Americans will hit the road to celebrate the nation’s independence from British rule.
But there’s a good chance you’ll be lining the pockets of British oil giant Shell. It has 14,000 gas stations across the U.S., helping Shell bring in $19 billion in global profits last year. With gas prices much higher than they were last year, the pot is only expected to sweeten in 2022.
#3: BBQ supplies
Fourth of July is the biggest day of the year for cookouts. The American Farm Bureau Federation says the average cookout will cost 17% more than last year. Rising meat prices have been a hot topic, but even items like beans and lemonade have seen inflationary pressures.
And it’s not just food companies cashing in: The U.S. charcoal market is expected to reach nearly $500 million by 2030, and Americans spent nearly $5 billion on smokers and grills in 2020, with the barbecue movement continuing to grow.
#2: Alcohol sales
St. Patrick’s Day may be the biggest bar holiday but the Fourth of July is the biggest beer-at-home holiday of them all. And for those Americans trying to avoid taking in those empty beer calories, the move to a more cocktail-centric lifestyle is good business for liquor companies. Minibar Delivery said Tito’s Vodka is its best seller during the holiday followed by Don Julio tequila.
#1: Personal fireworks
Personal fireworks sales have just been exploding in recent years. It’s a quintessential part of a successful Independence Day celebration and consumer sales boomed after the pandemic canceled many big shows in 2020, taking revenue from $1 billion to nearly $2 billion in just one year. Big shows may be back but private shows are still going strong, with an expected $2.3 billion in sales this year. You may picture dinky roadside fireworks stands when we talk about personal fireworks, but the big businesses behind them like TNT Fireworks are making bank.