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Oscar Mayer Is Launching Vegan Hot Dogs and Sausages — With The Help of a Jeff Bezos-Backed Startup Oscar Mayer announced a line of vegan meats, a first for the 140-year-old company, in partnership with a startup backed by Bezos.

By Sherin Shibu

Key Takeaways

  • Oscar Mayer has partnered with Jeff Bezos-backed startup, TheNotCompany, to bring vegan hot dogs and vegan sausages to shoppers.
  • The new vegan options will debut on March 12 at a trade show and arrive on retail shelves later this year.
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Oscar Mayer, the 140-year-old business known for its hot dogs, bacon, and other processed meats, is launching vegan options for the first time. The company hopes its vegan hot dogs and sausages will taste similar to the real thing, from taste to color to bite, according to a press release.

The vegan options grew out of a partnership between Oscar Mayer's parent company, Kraft Heinz, and TheNotCompany, a $1.5 billion plant-based startup with multi-million dollar investments from Jeff Bezos. In November, The Kraft Heinz Not Company launched the first plant-based Kraft Mac & Cheese in the U.S., supplementing earlier launches of Kraft NotCheese Slices and NotMayo.

Oscar Mayer's vegan sausages, called NotSausage, will arrive on grocery store aisles in Italian and Bratwurst flavors and the company's vegan hot dogs, called NotHotDog, will have one flavor.

Related: Mac Without Cheese? Kraft's Newest Product Is Going Vegan

Credit: Business Wire

"What the consumer is expecting is a product replica, a product that looks and performs like the animal-based item," Kraft Heinz NotCo CEO Lucho Lopez-May told Axios.

Kraft Heinz NotCo intends to create vegan products in other categories, according to the press release, and recently started expanding internationally.

Credit: Business Wire

The new vegan options will debut on March 12 at Expo West, a natural, organic, and healthy products trade show, and arrive on retail shelves later this year.

Related: Vegan Brands Are Swinging For Our Greatest Hope: Gen Z

Oscar Mayer is the second most-consumed hot dog brand in the U.S., according to Statista research, with 62.17 million Americans eating its hot dogs in 2020.

Kraft Heinz NotCo has had success with its vegan spins on popular offerings before. The company's NotCheese Slices were the No. 1 branded plant-based cheese slices in dollar sales within eight weeks of launch, according to a brand representative.

Still, the plant-based meat industry is facing a unique set of challenges, with companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods seeing revenue drop and employee shares fall in value. Factors like taste, cost, and texture could be barriers to adopting plant-based alternatives, per the Good Food Institute.

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

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