By Mike Pomranz | FoodAndWine.Com
Troy Warren for CNT
The condiment company wants “big bun and big wiener companies to finally sell buns and wieners in even packs.”
It’s one of those age-old questions that never seems to get a satisfactory answer: Why is the number of hot dogs in a pack (usually ten) different from the number of hot dog buns in a bag (usually eight)? (The joke even got a whole scene in the 1991 movie Father of the Bride.) The gist of the explanation seems to be that the packaging priorities differ for meat producers and bakers — though that also doesn’t explain why they couldn’t just sort out an agreement over the decades. So would it help to have an intermediary step in? As a condiment maker, Heinz is used to getting between hot dogs and their buns — and now, they’re hoping to solve the packaging problem once and for all.
Today, Heinz has announced their new Heinz Hot Dog Pact — a petition “calling on big bun and big wiener companies to finally sell buns and wieners in even packs.” It’s a sensible idea — though for some reason they’re choosing to put the onus on the bun makers, suggesting it should be ten buns and ten dogs.
“We’ve seen our fans through social media express their outrage about the bun-to-hot-dog ratio issue for years, and we know there must be a better way. We believe that the time for change is now and we are hopeful,” Daniel Gotlib, associate director of brand building and innovation for the Kraft Heinz Company, said in the announcement. “As the iconic condiment that has been making hot dogs complete for over 150 years, we saw an opportunity to champion this issue on behalf of hot dog lovers across North America and help show manufacturers why they need to put an end to unequal packs.”
But as much as consumers can get behind this idea, doesn’t Heinz’s solution raise more questions than it answers? Why was ten chosen as the equal number? Wouldn’t it be easier to have the hot dog makers drop down to eight dogs, seeing as hot dogs are just shoved into a plastic package whereas buns usually come baked together and need to be ripped apart? As far as compromises go, isn’t this one heavily lopsided?
“When it comes to hot dogs, more is better!” the Heinz team explained, answering my question via email. “Instead of scaling back how many hot dogs one can make in each pack, we wanted to bring more to the table this summer.”
Regardless, even if ten isn’t the magic number, at the very least maybe this petition can lead both sides to see that consumers are interested in some sort of solution, regardless of what that may be. If you agree, you can sign the petition at heinzhotdogpact.com.
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