Time For A "Wienervention?" Survey Exposes America's Love/Hate Relationship With Hot Dogs

Applegate Survey Finds Vast Majority Say Yes to Cleaner Wieners

Jun 27, 2013, 08:00 ET from Applegate

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As National Hot Dog Month approaches in July and Americans prepare to chow down on an estimated 150 million wieners on Independence Day alone, a new survey sponsored by Applegate, the leading producer of organic and natural meats, finds Americans need a "wienervention" when it comes to their dysfunctional feelings about franks.  While virtually every American has bought a package of hot dogs (a whopping 92 percent!) in the last year, 71 percent don't think those franks are high quality. In addition, 34 percent of parents want to say no when their kids whine for wieners.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130627/CG39208)

However, the survey found that 85 percent of people who consume hot dogs would rather purchase franks with a short ingredient statement that listed beef, water, sea salt and spices versus one with items like sodium phosphate and sodium nitrite. Additionally, 65 percent of respondents thought it was important for hot dogs to be made from animals that were not administered antibiotics or hormones, underscoring just how important this issue has become for shoppers.

"Hot dogs and summer are synonymous, but it's no wonder that with ingredients like sodium diacetate and partially hydrolyzed beef stock on many conventional hot dog labels, most Americans don't think much of what's in them," says Stephen McDonnell, founder and CEO of Applegate. "I think the survey shows a certain level of guilt when it comes to enjoying a hot dog, but if you know what you're looking for on a label, it doesn't have to be that way. Applegate's ingredients are straightforward: beef, water, sea salt and spices."

Applegate makes a full line of natural and organic hot dogs: beef, beef and pork, turkey and chicken.  All of Applegate's hot dogs are antibiotic- and hormone-free, with no added chemical nitrites. Applegate hot dogs generally have fewer calories, 50 percent less fat and 40 percent less sodium per serving than conventional hot dogs.

In an effort to give Americans permission to enjoy a cleaner wiener, Applegate is inviting consumers to "wienervene" and eat hot dogs that aren't on drugs. By visiting www.whatsinyourhotdog.com, consumers can learn more about what's in their hot dogs and send a "wienervention" to friends and receive $2-off coupons.

More Survey Results
The Applegate "Permission to Enjoy Hot Dogs" showed that only 8 percent of Americans claim to "never buy hot dogs."  Other survey findings:

  • Grill, baby, grill:  91 percent agree that hot dogs cooked on the grill are delicious.
  • Wait, wait, do tell me: 68 percent really want to know what's in hot dogs and how they are made.

About the Survey
The survey was conducted using Toluna's On-line Omnibus. Interviews were completed between April 30 and May 2, 2013.  The sample of 2199 respondents is representative of U.S. adults aged 18+ and is balanced on three key demographics: age, sex, and region of the U.S.

Additionally, respondents with the following characteristics were identified for analysis:

Parents – US adults with at least one child under 18 living at home.

Hot Dog Purchasers  - US adults that have purchased a hot dog in the past year.

Sample sizes and margins of error for these sample groups are as follows:

Sample group


Margin of Error

All US Adults


+/- 1.9%



+/- 3.6%

Hot Dog Purchasers


+/- 2.1%

About Applegate
For more than 25 years, Applegate has been producing high-quality natural and organic hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats, cheese and frozen products.  Natural can mean many things, but when Applegate says their products are natural, consumers are guaranteed that the meat inside is:

  • Raised without antibiotics or hormones
  • From animals fed a vegetarian or 100% grass diet and treated with humane animal standards
  • Free of added chemical nitrites, nitrates or phosphates
  • Free of artificial ingredients or preservatives

For more information about our products, visit http://www.applegate.com.

SOURCE Applegate