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For the first time in 140 years, Oscar Mayer to make meatless hot dogs

The hot dogs and sausages are said to have a "smoky, savory taste, meaty color, and thick, juicy bite."
From left: Plant-based Italian sausage, plant based bratwurst, and plant-based hot dogs.
Posted at 12:15 PM, Mar 06, 2024

Oscar Mayer has been making hot dogs for 140 years, and they've always included meat — until now. 

The hot dog maker's parent company Kraft Heinz announced Wednesday a new line of plant-based hot dogs and sausages that will soon hit store shelves. The company says it projects plant-based meat alternatives will go from an $8.3 billion market in 2023 to $19 billion by 2030.

Kraft Heinz says plant-based hot dogs and dinner sausage links remain underdeveloped and under-consumed because current options don't provide the taste and texture consumers are looking for.

Kraft Heinz said the Oscar Mayer NotHotDogs and NotSausages will have a "smoky, savory taste, meaty color, and thick, juicy bite." 

“At the Kraft Heinz Not Company, our goal is to create mouthwatering, plant-based foods that are delicious and accessible for everyone – from the devoted vegan to the plant-based curious,” says Lucho Lopez-May, CEO of the Kraft Heinz Not Company. “We know people are hungry for plant-based meat options from brands they know and trust. In launching the joint venture’s first product in the plant-based meat category, we saw an opportunity to satisfy these consumer cravings, leveraging NotCo’s revolutionary AI technology and the power, equity, and legacy of the Oscar Mayer brand.”

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The new hot dogs and sausages come after Kraft Heinz previously unveiled other plant-based products, including Kraft NotCheese Slices, Kraft NotMac&Cheese and NotMayo. The company says it is continuing to look to expand plant-based options. 

The Oscar Mayer products will be unveiled at the Expo West event in Anaheim, California, March 12-16. The company said major retailers will receive product shipments later this year. 

According to a 2022 poll by the Vegetarian Resource Group,6% of the U.S. adult population considers themselves vegan or vegetarian. In 2015, a similar pollfound that 3.4% of Americans said they never eat meat, indicating that there is a growing number of Americans opting not to eat meat.