- Oscar Mayer is switching up its hot dog recipe by removing nitrates and nitrites, artificial preservatives and by-products from the meat. The push for healthier, more natural ingredients is showcased in a new campaign called #ForTheLoveOfHotDogs, per a company press release.
- Parent company Kraft Heinz is doubling Oscar Mayer's marketing budget this year in part to support the campaign, according to Fortune.
- The campaign includes an expanded rollout of the brand’s Wienermobile teams, who will take the hot dog-shaped vehicles to locations across the U.S. Fans can use the #ForTheLoveOfHotDogs hashtag to tell Wienermobiles where to visit next. A dynamic marketing push, featuring TV, print, digital video, social media and PR support is also part of the rollout.
Any change to a signature product comes packaged with some risk, but Oscar Mayer's latest switch was based on consumer feedback stating that people want less artificial ingredients in their hot dogs, according to Oscar Mayer head of marketing Greg Guidotti.
By incorporating a strong social component, and building the campaign on the hashtag #ForTheLoveOfHotDogs, the brand clearly aims to generate buzz and get people to spread the word that it's remolding in a more health-conscious way.
Parent company Kraft Heinz obviously also sees the value in doubling down on a marketing push focused on a more natural product. Younger demographic groups, and especially millennials, are shown to value food that is healthier, fresher and presented with more transparency. The timing of the bigger push coincides with the arrival of warmer weather, when grilling hot dogs is popular pastime.
As Fortune noted, Kraft Heinz's move plays into a larger industry trend among "Big Food" brands including Cheerios, Quaker Oats and Pepsi that seeks to move away from the idea of being processed. Kraft Heinz recently reformulated its Mac & Cheese recipe in a similar manner.
In July 2015, after Kraft and Heinz merged, the new entity announced it would eliminate the CMO position in its C-suite in favor of handling marketing leadership to flow through its business units.