Oscar Mayer Announces Its First Meatless Hot Dogs

Vegetarian eaters, vegans, and Meatless Monday followers have a new meat-free food to enjoy: hot dogs! In a March 6 press release, Kraft Heinz Not Company LLC announced the launch of Oscar Mayer's first plant-based hot dogs and sausages as part of an ongoing partnership between Kraft Heinz and TheNotCompany, Inc. (a food tech brand that produces meatless alternatives). Featuring ingredients like mushrooms and pea protein, these new vegan NotHotDogs and NotSausages (in spicy Italian and bratwurst varieties) are intended to closely represent the smoky flavor of the originals.

These new plant-based pork replicas haven't yet hit grocery store shelves — expect to see them later this year. And while this is Oscar Mayer's first time dipping its toes into the pool of plant-based products, it's not the first product that parent company Kraft Heinz has created in collaboration with TheNotCompany. In the last two years, since the beginning of the partnership, the two have also rolled out Kraft NotMac&Cheese, Kraft NotCheese Slices, and NotMayo, all featuring dairy-free ingredients.

More about TheNotCompany and its offerings

Kraft Heinz is a fairly familiar household name. If your fridge is stocked with Claussen pickles, Miracle Whip, or Heinz ketchup (among dozens of other products) you may already be a fan of the established brand. However, TheNotCompany, which specializes in producing plant-based foods, is significantly newer to the scene.

The Chilean-based producer began its operations in 2016 with an eye on making food that's better for the planet. By 2021, it was listed on Fast Company's list of the world's most innovative companies, and in early 2022, the company began its partnership with Kraft Heinz, culminating in the Kraft Heinz Not Company LLC brand.

TheNotCompany's unique approach to creating plant-based foods that replicate the textures and flavors of their meaty counterparts involves the use of artificial intelligence. The proprietary AI that the company's team developed is used to determine which plants can mimic the flavor and structure of meat to help best create their products. They come at a time that the plant-based market brings in more than $8 billion and is projected to hit nearly $20 billion in 2030, according to Renub Research.

While TheNotCompany is creating products in partnership with Kraft Heinz, it has its own line that it's continuing to produce as well. Currently, the brand produces plant-based burgers and milk as well as chicken, from nuggets and patties to tenders and dino shapes for the little ones.