Burger King Bites Into the $20 Billion Hot Dog Market

By Lifestyle and Budget FOXBusiness

Burger King: The king of hot dogs, too?

FOXBusiness.com's Jade Scipioni heads to Burger King to test out their new grilled hot dogs.

Burger King is taking the burger wars to the next level by adding beefy franks to the mix.

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Starting on Tuesday, all 7,150 restaurants nationwide will feature Grilled Dogs made with a 100% beef.

Alex Macedo, President of Burger King North America, says the idea “just made sense to our guests and for our brand,” adding the chain has big plans for the new item. “We’re applying over 60 years of flame –grilling expertise with the WHOPPER sandwich to make Grilled Dogs the next great American icon,” he said.

Eric Mittenthal, President of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, says he’s not surprised by the move considering Americans eat an estimated 20 billion hot dogs per year.

“We’ve seen several different brands experiment with hot dogs in recent years from Pizza Hut’s hot dog stuffed crust pizza to hot dog flavored Pringles, so it’s not too surprising to see that they added it to the menu,” he says.

Burger King’s new permanent menu items included the Classic Grilled Dog at $1.99 and the Chili Cheese Grilled Dog at $2.29. Calories range from 310 to 330 per dog.

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The fast-food giant, which is owned by Restaurant Brands International (QSR), partnered with Kraft Heinz’s (KHC) Oscar Mayer to make the hot dogs.

And they’ll be battling SONIC (SONC), which has more than 3,500 restaurants, for hot dog dollars. The drive-in chain is one of their biggest competitors with around 12 different types of hot dogs including the corn dog.

However, recent data does suggest hot dog sales have dropped a bit over the last few years but Mittenthal says it’s mainly because people are upgrading their love for the meaty dogs.

“We’re seeing a rise in sausage sales,” he adds. Los Angeles has consistently been the top hot dog market over the last few years with New York coming in second.

The prime season for consumption is between Memorial Day and Labor Day with an estimated 7 billion Americans eating them during that period.

“Our love of hot dogs comes from our childhood. Many people’s earliest food memories are enjoying hot dogs. We eat them from when we’re children all the way through life and they conjure positive memories for so many people across the country,” says Mittenthal.

Burger King now hopes to remain the king of burgers and the new home of the “Whopper of Dogs.”

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