The $1.50 Costco Hot Dog: Hebrew National Out...Kirkland Brand In

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I don't usually read the Costco Connection -- the corporate propaganda Coscto puts out every month and sends to every member in the mail -- but this month is different. The cover story was all about the food court, its past and future. And I've gotta say: it was quite an interesting read -- especially if you've enjoyed the $1.50 hot dog and drink combo like I have, which we dubbed as the Best Hot Dog on our 2007 Best Of Issue. 

To read the whole article, CLICK HERE. But here are some of the interesting factoids that I will bullet point for your convenience: 

- It started as a single hot dog stand in front of a San Diego warehouse in 1984. 

- They tapped the only employee who had food-service experience to run the cart.  He still works there as a food-service supervisor. 

- Costco food courts vary only slightly around the world: In Canada, they offer poutine (French fries with gravy and cheese curds). In the UK, they serve jacket potatoes (baked potatoes with special fillings). In Japan and Korea, their chicken bakes have bulgogi in them. And in Mexico, the pizza is topped with seafood. 

- The cost of the $1.50 hot dog special has not risen since its inception in 1985. 

- The original $1.50 combo price was based on a 12-ounce can of soda. Today, it's a 20-ounce fountain drink with free refills. 

- In 2008, Costco sold more than 82 million hot dogs. 

- In 2009, they expect to sell more than 90 million. 

- In 2007, one of their two kosher hot dog suppliers quit the kosher meat business. Another kosher raw-ingredient supplier closed down. There was a decrease in supply. 

On this note comes the bombshell: Costco decided to develop their own dog. 

The new Kirkland dog is "10 percent heavier and longer than the old," made with "100% beef with only fresh USDA Choice or better cuts" and "without fillers, binder, phosphates, corn syrup, artificial color and artificial flavors".

Though my local Costco still seems to tout their Hebrew Nationals, I don't think I would've noticed even if they made the switch.  And if I get 10% for my $1.50, even better.  After all, we're Americans.  And this is Costco.
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52 comments
dgates64
dgates64

For those keeping score, that 1985 price for dog and drink, which Costco hasn't raised in 25+ years, would be $3.50 today.

Randall651
Randall651

If you are a real hot dog fan, find a store that sells Boar's Head brand New York style hotdogs. They have the same wonderful casing and the long skinny shape as the hot dogs sold at the famous Gray's Papaya. The latter are always rated as the best hotdogs in NYC. The stand on 86th and Lexington must sell a dog every second, as it is always very crowded.

Bunkspunkles
Bunkspunkles

Luv deez greezy dawgs I don't see what all ya alls problem is.  Sure they be greezy as hell but datz da way da jewish gawd intended dem to be. My azz keep getting bigger and bigger on deez dawgs but I pile up dem onions and get my veggies for the day. Costco pride muh fuh

Marilana2
Marilana2

We live in Las Vegas, and have always had the Costco  HN special at least twice a month.  Our Costco just changed to Kirkland.  As we ate, we noticed the change to  Kirkland umbrellas. The Kirkland are very peppery, and spicy.  We came home, and my husband didn't feel well for three days.  We would willingly pay 25 cents or even 50 cents more for a HN hotdog.  We will never eat  Costco's Kirkland hotdog again. YUK

ashburn slum lord
ashburn slum lord

I too would rather have hebrew national for 1.75.   If they want to keep it at 1.50, give the masses the 1.50 dog all beef  (beef colon = beef)

the executive members get an upgrade to a Hebrew National, and a bigger soda cup.

that will pimp the executive card.  Win Win for costco.      or 5$ for two dogs, soda and fries.   That will "up" the average order price..

spunky.
spunky.

Costco has the best deal for hotdogs handdown ,,1.50 with drink..

mg
mg

The new hot dogs taste awful, my wife, daughter and myself all think it was a big mistake to change.  We use to goa at least once and somtimes twice a week for a dog.  We havn't had one in over 6 months.

bilzod
bilzod

They made have a lot of fat and salt but as a 60 year old hot dog fan  they TASTE GREAT.I f you think they are AWFUL what the hell is good for you ????

S L Mark
S L Mark

Kirkland hot Dog, while all beef, longer, has a different taste.  It appears more salty and is not as good as Hebrew National.  What is the difference between the two?Thank you!

Hymster08
Hymster08

 I love the $1.50 deal and eat a dog at Costco regularly. I didn't know it had changed until I took my first bite. I knew something was wrong right away.  No snap to the dog, no great flavors and a consistency that was like mush.  I looked up and saw the umbrellas that used to say Hebrew National, now touting Kirkland.  That will be my last Costco hot dog.  These things taste and feel like crap.

JD
JD

I was a huge fan of Hebrew National brand Costco dog. I don't like the new version. Funny taste. Bring back the old one!

teddy
teddy

could not disagree more. the kirkland hotdog tastes awful. bad flavor. tastes like a Hebrew National gone bad.

they did it to save money. better they raised the price on the Hebrew National than to serve this mess.

Mark S
Mark S

With a hechser, one is 99% sure there is no rat (or human) in the sausages. Without one, people more or less take their chances, whether it's proclaimed they're "all beef" or not...

Steve C.
Steve C.

And I thought only I noticed...interestingly, and this may suprise you, I like both, but Hebrew National is superioir, I agree...I still ain't really clear on what happened to make the switch, but it's happened..

Martha Cole
Martha Cole

I had a Kirkland hot dog at our local Costco warehouse food court, and I was disappointed. Interestingly, I overheard the family at the next table, and they were also unhappy with the new hot dogs.

I know Costco has a member-friendly return policy, but does that include food court items? We would have returned our dogs.

Chris
Chris

Apparently it doesn't matter if it is Hebrew National or not. This ingredient list is from HebrewNational.com for polish sausage: INGREDIENTS: Beef, Water, Contains 2% or less of: Spices, Dextrose, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Garlic Powder, Sodium Erythorbate, Salt, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Diacetate, Smoke Flavor, Sodium Nitrite. CONTAINS: SOY.APPARENTLY - The only thing that is kosher is the beef INSIDE the Polish Sausage and NOT the Sausage as a whole. Yikes, I won't eat the Hebrew National anymore... that is just a marketing gimmick which is clear if you go to their web site and read their ingredients.. corn and soy. It doesn't say it is NON-GMO corn or NON-GMO soy either.hahahah holy crap. I also see that Hebrew National is a ConAgra company. Kosher? hahaha! I hate to admit that I actually bought into this one. Even their web site has signs wagging that say "no fillers" "no artificial flavors". WHAT A JOKE. Since when isn't Soy Protein a filler?????????????

Chris
Chris

OK. I ate a Polish sausage at Costco last night. I saw a sign that said "Hebrew National" at the food court. Was it or wasn't it a Hebrew National?

I didn't think it was half as good as I remembered them but I was also think "I wish they'd heated it all the way up first."

Justin Case
Justin Case

Bad news! Our Costco recently renovated their food court, and switched to the Kirkland dog. It is not even close to the Hebrew National dog in taste! The Kirkland dog is best described as the kind of dog you get when you have left it in a freezer for two months before overcooking it for 4 or 5 hours.

Marie
Marie

Costo has decided to sub a very cheap hot dog in place of the best quality, yet keep it at the same price. Hm. Why would they do that? Profit maybe? Eat up!

Tiggrhappi
Tiggrhappi

Wow. I work at a Costco Food Court. We make a whopping 7 cents profit on a hot dog. Believe me, it's not for profit. Costco hasn't changed our hot dog + soda price since 1984. Seriously, wish they would charge more & quite cutting our work hours!

Rich Weinman
Rich Weinman

We noticed the difference and we stopped buying too. Kosher hot dogs are not available in the freezer section of our Costco either -- which is really too bad.

I think Costco flunked on the taste test part.

Rob
Rob

OMG... If you sell 80 plus million dogs a year and your suppliers can not meet the demand what do you do??? Well according to some of the posters... Continue buying at a very reduced ammount and make them so expensive only the Lib elitists above can afford it... There ya go... You guys can have your Kosher dogs that way... As for me... All beef and damn tasty... A truly wonderful dog... Eat them every chance I get... As far as you whinners above please do go to Sams (keeps the line shorter at my local Costco, yes there is always a line)... They love to overcook there dogs (at least at the 3 local ones here)...

dgates64
dgates64

@Rob, what's being a liberal got to do with kosher hot dogs? I know. Nothing.

It's just hard for you to NOT take a swipe at liberals in any post you reply to. 

Julian Montes
Julian Montes

I do not know when things changed with the hot dogs and polish dogs. What I do know was that the polish dogs were my favorite and about 2 years ago ( do not have a good since of how long ago I stopped eating the polish because its texture and taste changed. I switched to hot dogs and they tasted better than the polish. Still I wondered about the tastes. So maybe I'll start going to Sam's.

Rich_F
Rich_F

They are still selling the Hebrew National product in some markets. Here in Detroit, they are pushing the Kirkland non-kosher, non-tasting rubbery extruded garbage. It feels spongy in the mouth and it tastes like an imitation hot dog. I have written Costco complaining about the Kirkland horrors and they just write back extolling the virtues of the new product. It is self-serving nonsense of course. Nobody I know can stand the Kirkland product. I have been on line to get a slice of Pizza and heard a mother with a young child the kid that she would not buy a hot dog because it is no good. I actually shop at Costco less often now because I usedc to go at lunch time and have a dog or two while I was shopping. Now I have been shopping elsewhere and lunching where I can stomach the food. My suggestion is to complain to Costco and keep elevating your complaints. The first reply back is a canned self-serving note with false praise for teh Kirkland product. Write back and ask to communicate with a supervisor. Maybe this will get someone's attention. BTW, I was in the NY metropolitan area recently and they are still selling Hebrew Nationals there. New Yorkers won't eat garbage evidently. Why should we?

Kim
Kim

I had the new hot dog, and I definitely "noticed." This was before I found out they changed brands. The new hot dogs were bland and had a softer (wimpier) texture.

Ken
Ken

I would have to agree Hebrew national tastes better. Unfortunately the dogs costco used to have were not hebrew national This seems to be a misconseption among most people. They sell hebrew national in the store, but the food court used a brand produced by sara lee. sara lee ceased making them and there is presently no supplier making that hot dog.

Kosher hot dogs are not kosher (jewish) per say, but kosher style meaning only cuts of beef from in front of middle and above shanks (sorry that includes tounge and heads) as well as garlic, similar to kosher pickles means garlic

Alex
Alex

Yuck! I just had one of the new dogs in San Antonio today.

Absolutely terrible!

Very greasy, over-seasoned with garlic, and I'm still tasting it almost 12 hours later.

Oh well, all good things must end.

James
James

I would rather see HN hot dogs than anything else in COSTCO. I don't mean to disappoint anyone but a Rabbi does not say a prayer to make it kosher, it is kosher because of the parts of the cow that was used and how the cow was slaughtered that makes it kosher. this is the reason I like HN because I know what parts were used in my hot dog and do not have to worry about a hoof in there.

S. J.  Horn
S. J. Horn

I am so sad that the new hot dogs are nothing like the old ones. I don't have an issue with the new dogs not being Kosher, but the new ones are soooo greasy! I used to feel it was ok to have dog now and then even though they are not that good for my type of diet, but now I don't eat them anymore because they seem to be so greasy and have a different taste. The old ones seemed to be more meaty and had a much better flavor! Please bring back to old DOGS! or at least something closer without the greasy taste. Thank you.

Steve
Steve

The consensus among five of my friends after trying the new dog was that we'd rather pay Costco $1.50 never to have to eat it, it's so bad. Please, Costco, raise the price and bring back Hebrew National. I alread lodged a complaint on the Costco site.

S. Pereira
S. Pereira

From the first bite of Hebrew Sinai Kosher hot dogs we were hooked. My husband hates hot dogs but after trying a Hebrew Sinai bite he always ate at least 3 of these (lightly fried not in a bun) The FLAVOUR can't be beat. I have been looking for these for a few years now since Costco in Canada stopped carrying them. I even go over the border to look for them in stores. There is NO hotdog in the world that tastes like these! I too do not like the Kirkland ones. No comparison. No 'special spice' flavour that I can't identify. Just really really good. Bring them back!!!!!!!!

N. Jensen
N. Jensen

In San Diego, we still have at least two Costco warehouses where Hebrew National Kosher Hot Dogs and Polish Dogs are sold. I hate the new substitute product (Kirkland brand). It may be bigger but it certainly doesn't taste better! The taste and texture is very poor, compared to National Hebrew brand. I go out of my way to go to the two remaining Costcos (in San Diego)that still offer the Hebrew National "dogs". Hebrew National hot dogs are still sold inside the store, so I fail to understand why they cannot continue to be offered in the Food Courts.

N. Jensen
N. Jensen

In San Diego, we still have at least two Costco warehouses where Hebrew National Kosher Hot Dogs and Polish Dogs are sold. I hate the new substitute product (Kirkland brand). It may be bigger but it certainly doesn't taste better! The taste and texture is very poor, compared to National Hebrew brand. I go out of my way to go to the two remaining Costcos (in San Diego)that still offer the Hebrew National "dogs". Hebrew National hot dogs are still sold inside the store, so I fail to understand why they cannot continue to be offered in the Food Courts.

Ellia Kassoff
Ellia Kassoff

I'm sooo pissed they gave up the kosher hot dogs. They just don't get it. It's like changing the formula of Coke. One of the big draws for Costco is the kosher dog!

zxed
zxed

Kirkland dogs SUCK.. I had not read about the switch, bit into a dog, thought it was bad was taking it back and noticed that they had switched... Sams serves Nathans,, im going there

Jim Chase
Jim Chase

My wife and I really noticed the difference between the Hebrew National and the new Hot Dog. Not happy, probably last time we eat there. Got to wonder what else they are cheaping out. Not buying the better BS.

Rick in PVKS
Rick in PVKS

I am eating a new Kirkland dog right now, and I agree: greasier and more garlicky ... or something. Not like the old Hebrew National. Too bad they went out business ...

SMS
SMS

I tried the new Kirkland polish sausage and it was very poor. It was very bland, lacking the spiciness of the Kosher polish sausage. It was oozing with grease, far greasier than the older Kosher product. If it's actually true that Costco did testing, then I guess people just like "extra grease" in their food.

Personally I wish they had raised the price a little and kept the better product. I won't be buying the Kirkland product any more. In my area they sold Sinai Kosher at Costco, rather than Hebrew National, and Sinai Kosher is gone (Saralee shut dropped this product line).

Since I really shouldn't be eating such animal-fat laden food anyway, I guess there's an upside to Costco destroying this icon of Americana.

frank
frank

I love hewbrew national and i still get them at other grocery stores. i'm just sad that coscto decided to change to a different hotdog supplier. by the way this hotdog is really really bad. i love hotdogs and i usually get one or two even if i'm not hungry now i won't even go near the food court :( just raise the price i'm sure people will pay more for a better hotdog

Ray K
Ray K

they changed to Kirkland dawgs... I didn't care that the old dawgs were kosher or not.. just that they had the right taste.. these new dawgs are terrible...too garlick-ee... just a bad flavor... everyone is talking about the change... why would they ruin a good thing... must be more profit in it...

or maybe they just wanted to sell the higher priced pizza... whatever the reason they'll lose a lot of bizness by this change...

wake up Costco.. you blew it..

Carolyn
Carolyn

I read about the new Kirkland hot dogs.When will they be in the Costco stores?What are the ingredients other than all beef?I see the meat is USDA choice..does that mean very little fat?Carolyn

Mike Oxbent
Mike Oxbent

The new dogs are great! For a quick "kosherizing", just take a ripping bite around the front of the wiener, effectively circumsing it for the good eatin to come!

Evan Brom
Evan Brom

I think switching hot dogs is a terrible idea. With the Hebrew National quality is assured. With the Kirkland ones coming form the lowest bid vendor it is not. If this switch becomes wide spread I will visit Costco less often.

Randall651
Randall651

I do not agree. I have tried and use a number of Kirkland products and find them to be excellent...just as good as branded products. I think Costco must monitor their suppiers very carefully. Usually stores this big have stringent specs and the loss of a Costco contract would be a real financial setback for a supplier.

Bill Shefrin
Bill Shefrin

 I agree with you. There's a definite difference in taste between a Hebrew National Hot dog and Kirkland;s poor imitation. Bill Shefrin.

jumpcut
jumpcut

I dunno, I'm kinda sad that the hot dogs at Costco are no longer kosher. I always felt better that a rabbi said a prayer over my hot dog before I bit into it...less likely I'd drop dead of a heart attack from eating too many Costco hot dogs!

Victor
Victor

I'm actually glad they quit the kosher thing.  Kosher slaughter is crueler than non kosher and they don't waste the good half of the cow where the sirloin and flank steak come from either.

ashburn slum lord
ashburn slum lord

They don't waste the other half, they sell it to the dirty people.

Hoi-Ming Ng
Hoi-Ming Ng

You guys made me laugh. I don't know if it was your intention but thanks. (^_^)

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