Heinz Ketchup tries to broker a pact between bun and hot dog makers

The mismatch between the number of wieners and the number of hot dog buns in their respective packages is one of the enduring mysteries, not to mention great frustrations, of the food industry.

Steve Martin’s character famously ranted about the incorrect wiener to bun ratio in 1991’s The Father of the Bride, while the U.S. National Hot Dog & Sausage Council says it is among the most routinely asked questions among the hundreds of hot dog-related enquires it receives each year. “You would think the makers of these two inherently linked items would collaborate on this,” it says. Well, duh.

While we know from experience that sliced white bread will do in a pinch, those mad marketing geniuses at Kraft Heinz Canada are attempting to come up with a more permanent (and less soggy) solution with “The Heinz Hot Dog Pact”—a new marketing effort developed by Rethink, with assistance from The Kitchen for social, The Colony Project for PR and Carat for media.

Heinz is acting like Switzerland in this whole dispute, but it is calling on “Big Bun” and “Big Weiner” companies to fix the discrepancy by selling their respective products in packs of 10 apiece.

It has even launched a Change.org petition (accessible through a website called HeinzHotDogPact.com) that had attracted nearly 4,000 signatures by Wednesday morning.

It is driving people to the website through a social video, out-of-home and posts on its social media channels.

“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,” said Daniel Gotlib, associate director, brand building and innovation, at Kraft Heinz. “We believe that the time for change is now and we are hopeful.”

Of course, if you’ve got some extra money in your grocery budget, you can achieve the necessary equilibrium by simply purchasing five packs of buns and four packs of hot dogs. That would leave just one hot dog mystery to be solved: what’s in those things anyway?

Chris Powell