Hot dog history

The hot dog has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a frankfurter in the 1600’s[1]. Rising to popularity in America around the 1860’s, hot dogs were sold on street corners and at baseball games with the addition of the bread bun making the food easier to handle. Across the pond in the UK, the trend quickly caught on but food regulations put a stop to many street sellers with over 600 unlicensed hot dog carts destroyed by the council in the 1980’s[2]. However, appetites could not be supressed and consumer demand saw hot dogs moving into the retail sphere where they could be enjoyed at home, although they remained popular at cinemas and sports stadiums.

Current Trends

 In recent years the proliferation in popularity of the hot dog in foodservice has been extraordinary. The hot dog has become a more adventurous offer with the classic topping of ketchup, mustard and fried onions being passed over for more exotic toppings, such as mac ‘n’ cheese, barbecue pulled pork and Mexican guacamole. With many different types of bun or bread and several frankfurter varieties now available, consumers have a huge choice. With this growth and diversity, the hot dog has evolved into a more premium dish and this shift is apparent when you look at where hot dogs are now available.

In 2014 there was an 86%[3] rise in hot dogs appearing on restaurant menus as ‘gourmet street food’. The ‘premiumisation’ of the hot dog has been so substantial that it is even being sold as the sole accompaniment alongside champagne in a top London restaurant._

Westlers New Hot Dog

 The hot dog has been around for generations and many consumers will have fond memories of their first bites at fairgrounds, sports stadiums and festivals. The Westlers brand is one which many people associate with their youth, and it is this heritage we want to build on while reinvigorating our offer and reacting to consumer trends.

 With the hot dog market still expanding and evolving, Westlers has created a frankfurter that offers caterers a great quality product that gives outlets of all sizes the opportunity to create a premium dish and upsell a classic by adding less traditional toppings and sides.

Westlers’ all new premium 90% pork frankfurters are naturally smoked over beech wood to give a unique, authentic tasting product. Our frankfurters have one the highest meat content of any hot dogs on the market – almost twice the meat found in a regular pork sausage! Choosing our product gives outlets the peace of mind that they are serving a quality frankfurter that will be loved by diners.

To further support pub operators, we also supply equipment such as roller grills, steamers and bain maries; POS materials such as posters and flags; and sundries such as branded frankfurter boxes are also available to help create an engaging and simple to execute proposition.

 The Future

 The future of the hot dog is very exciting as we predict their popularity will continue to grow. Flavours will continue to evolve and will be influenced from different cultures with Far East Asian, Central American and North African flavours expected to start offering consumers greater taste sensations.

The addition of premium sides and combos such as sweet potato fries, pulled pork sliders and stuffed BLT have helped to position the hot dog as a luxury item on the menu. These added extras have changed the perceived value of the hot dog which has allowed for higher menu prices to be justified.

As usual, the summer will be packed full of great sporting events such as The FA Cup Final, European Championship Qualifiers and Wimbledon all leading in to the Rugby World Cup, which will be held right here in the UK. With such an actioned filled schedule ahead, many consumers will be flocking to their locals to embrace the atmosphere.

Outlets offering our premium frankfurter can expect demand to be high, as there are many benefits for the consumer. The hot dog is quick to serve and removes the need for cutlery making it an easy option to feed hungry patrons. The quick snack appeal offers a filling, convenient choice that allows the consumer satisfy late night hunger, keeping them in the pub for longer at the end of the evening rather than losing custom to takeaways. Making use of quick service menu items such as hot dogs can help retain the customer for longer, ultimately leading to improvements in both wet and dry sales.



[3] Horizons 2014, Britain’s menus reflect changing nature of eating out