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No more Hebrew National Kosher Hot Dogs at Costco Food Court [moved from Los Angeles board]

I dropped into Costco Van Nuys today and noticed something looked different - all the red Hebrew National umbrellas that adorned all the tables in the food court were gone. After shopping, I stopped for the $1.50 hot dog special and see that the dog is now a Kirkland Brand 100% beef dog. The graphic on the sign has changed and any mention of Hebrew National or Kosher is now history.

Costco has been serving Hebrew National as long as I can remember. Anyone have any information as to why they changed, what happened, etc?

Thanks.

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    1. re: Will Owen

      For the first time in a long tme, I had a Hebrew National dog at the Costco Food Court in West L.A. about 5 weeks ago. It was terrible. Even if it started out as a good dog, what they did to it killed it. No snap, no freshness. Just bad. Like it'd been sitting for hours in the hot water bath. Nothing like the regular HN dogs that I get at the grocery store and grill at home.

    2. I buy them because it's 1.62, not because they're a culinary epiphany.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ns1

        I'm not saying it's the greatest dog I ever had. I too get it strictly for the price. However, i did like the fact that at least it was a Hebrew National Kosher dog so, quality wise, it was better than most other funky cheap hot dogs out there.

        1. re: rockhead

          Thanks for the post. I noticed the difference last week. They really aren't very good. I bought them because they were good, cheap and convenient. Now I have to travel 12 miles to Fab's or wait til Weiner factory decides to open again and travel 23 miles. Jeesh! This is just a hot dog and you can't find a good one close to home anymore. Dump Kirkland and charge a bit more for HN.

          1. re: SIMIHOUND

            I had one today at the Costco in Azusa. I didn't even notice whether or not the umbrellas had Kirkland or Hebrew National. It tasted the same to me. Wolfgang, I have never had a HN that "snapped" whether I cooked it or got it from Costco. What you had is what it is but like rockhead said, you can trust the quality of the ingredients. I'm guessing that they are still made by HN for Costco with the Kirkland label.

            1. re: Fru

              We were at the Azusa location last weekend and noticed all the umbrellas were gone.. so that's what happened!

      2. I just emailed Costco, I'll let you know what their answer is.

        3 Replies
        1. re: paprkutr

          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?

          1. re: RichF

            Both of the NJ Costco's I frequent (Ocean and Manahawkin) still serve the Hebrew National.

            1. re: Bossa_Nova

              I usually shop at the Los Feliz L.A. Costco which still serves Hebrew National However yesterday I picked up a dog for my son at the Alhambra location. I noticed it wasn't H.N. He gave me a bite and I couldn't figure out why it tasted off. Now I know why.

        2. Huh. I've never seen a Hebrew National dog at Costco; it's always been kosher, but it's always been Sinai 48. So apparently there's at least some regional variation. Although who knows, maybe they've started serving Kirkland dogs here, too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: alanbarnes

            And those Sinai 48 hot dogs are the worst I ahve ever tasted.

          2. Not to turn this into a political slug fest, so please no follow-up replies here.

            But it might have something to do with the recent events impacting Agriprocessors Inc, which owns Hebrew National and which is the largest purveyor of Kosher beef in the country, they are in big trouble with the law, it has to do with hiring illegals, child labor abuses and general labor abuses. Costco just might have decided to find another vendor/supplier. The CEO was arrested and is now wearing an ankle bracelet.

            Like I said, let's not discuss this aspect here, as we don't want to derail this board with non food discussion.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ChinoWayne

              Actually two different companies - Hebrew National is owned by ConAgra - Agriprocessors is independent -

                1. re: weinstein5

                  Wow, I didn't know they owned HN. No more HN products for me, I don't want GMO corn in my hot dogs.

              1. When i think of Costco, I think of the Hot dog I'll stuff myself with after the shopping is done. Another one bites the dust.

                1. Kirkland is Costcos in-house brand ( all the cheap meds you see on ebay are costco kirkland bulk packages repackaged). Just like Trader Joes does to lower costs. Why pay someone else.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: stuartmm

                    The change would have been more tolerable if it changed to a Kirkland Kosher dog. The fact that it isn't Kosher is a big deal. At least with a Kosher dog, you know the make-up of the dog is better than what you get with a non-Kosher dog. Looks like Costco is cutting corners.

                    1. re: rockhead

                      "At least with a Kosher dog, you know the make-up of the dog is better than what you get with a non-Kosher dog."

                      whaaat? how would you actually "know" that?

                      1. re: hobomike

                        Well, theoretically, the kosher designation implies a certain level of cleanliness, humaneness in slaughter, etc. But, yeah, it's a hotdog. I wouldn't be surprised if the things had monkey meat in it.

                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                          There is no 'theoretical' about a kosher hot dog or any other kosher meat. The whole process is under rabbinical supervision, and there are strict rules about the kind of meat that can be in it (monkey meat is not kosher), the health of the animal, the way it is slaughtered, etc. I try not to eat non-kosher beef hot dogs because I don't have those same guarantees.

                  2. my 94 year old mom is going to costco today and that is the highlight of her trip. I don't think i'm going to tell her and I'll see what she thinks. If I do tell her, she probably won't get out of bed. that sucks!

                    1. This is indeed a great tragedy, I was victimized by one of these vastly inferior dogs at the Van Nuys location a couple weeks ago, and had horrible gross-tasting burps an hour or two afterwards. I will not buy another one. Good news is, my more local Costcos in Marina Del Rey and Hawthorne still sell Hebrew Nationals, which I've confirmed gratefully in the last two weekends. Long live Hebrew National!!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: justinmiller

                        Wow, I'm going to be more observant in the future. I didn't realize that not all Costcos sold the same dogs!

                        1. re: Fru

                          I didn't know that Costco ever sold Hebrew National, anywhere. I have been going to the same Costco in Silverdale, Washington for twenty years and they have never sold HN. The one I live by now in Salem , Oregon doesn't do HN either.

                        2. re: justinmiller

                          If it's true that this clear downgrade in hot dog brands applies only to the Van Nuys branch, it doesn't surprise me at all. That location is easily the worst one in all of Los Angeles for a variety of reasons, not least among them the fact that they have the most penny-pinching management of any Costco in the Los Angeles area. That's not just my opinion: I've had it confirmed by a number of employees there.

                        3. Union NJ Costco = Hebew National umbrellas...Hot dogs = unknown

                          1. I had a Hebrew National dog recently. YOW! When did they go crazy with the salt? It's got to be the saltiest hotdog I've ever had. I thought Nathan's was salty, but at least their natural casing hotdogs have a decent balance of flavors.

                            1. I can confirm that the Costco in Columbia, MD recently changed from Hebrew National to Kirkland. I thought it was funny how they just stuck a giant sticker that said "NEW" over the part of the sign that had the Hebrew National logo.

                              I tried one a couple of weeks ago and try as I might, I really couldn't tell a difference. I would be curious to know who the supplier is...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: steinre1

                                One thing to consider is that Costco has a history of buying name-brand products and sticking the Kirkland label on them at a significant discount. For example, it's an open secret that Kirkland French vodka is Grey Goose (or, more precisely, is distilled by the maker of Grey Goose using the same process). I wonder if Costco has come to some arrangement with ConAgra to produce "generic" HN franks.

                                Off topic, but my favorite hot dog find at Costco is the Casper's brand franks. Beef and pork, natural casing, lots of snap, just the right amount of spice for my tastes. If they'd serve those in the food court I might just bite (so to speak).

                              2. Well lets see..Kirkland is a Costco brand..profit margin..There you go. Now most, but not all, of the Kirkland brand foods seem to be equal to name brand IMHO. How was the Hot dog?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Eric in NJ

                                  The big issue is Costco has done away with serving a Kosher dog at the food court. At least with a Kosher dog, I could feel a bit better about what's inside than eating a generic hot dog with who-knows-what thrown in. Yes, many of the Kirkland products I've tried have been just the same quality-wise as brand names, however, if this was just a change where the dogs were still made by Hebrew National under the Kirkland label, the dogs would still be kosher - ie Kirkland Kosher All Beef Hot Dogs. That is not the case.

                                  1. re: rockhead

                                    Re: "if this was just a change where the dogs were still made by Hebrew National under the Kirkland label, the dogs would still be kosher - ie Kirkland Kosher All Beef Hot Dogs."

                                    I'm not sure that's the case. It's my understanding that anything labeled "kosher" has to be certified as such by one of the gajillion certification agencies. Those agencies' standards may vary, but they have one thing in common - certification costs money. So Hebrew National pays Triangle-K to certify its products as kosher (and there's still dissent among the Orthodox community as to whether the certification standards are stringent enough).

                                    Maybe somebody better informed about such matters can correct me, but it's my understanding that if Costco chooses not to spend money for certification, Kirkland hot dogs can't be labeled "kosher" even if they're identical to the HN-branded tube steaks. There are those individuals for whom an assurance of rabbinical supervision is important; they definitely don't want to buy the Kirkland franks. But for everybody else, the same product for a lower price should be a good thing.

                                  2. re: Eric in NJ

                                    I'm of the same opinion. I worked there for a few years and everything with the Kirkland Signature branding seemed to be, 90% of the time, of the same standard as the brand name stuff. Often, the Kirkland stuff would superior in quality like the spring water, vodka, pesto, meat, certain frozen items. Hell, their whole bean coffee was made by Starbucks but tasted better than the krill that Starbucks normaly passes as coffee, but that's just my jaded opinion there. I think their sliced bread was the only thing I didn't like.

                                    I really don't pay attention anymore to the food court when I go back so I'll have to see if my local Costcos have changed their brand of hot dogs next time I'm in. Sinai Kosher was the brand they used at my former store.

                                  3. I was at the Azusa store today. Last week the Hebrew National umbrellas were gone but today they were back in full force and the menu board said Hebrew National was being served. So maybe people protested? Or there was just a temporary supply delay? All I know is the Hebrew Nat dog is back in Azusa!

                                    1. I emailed Costco last week several times, and the result was that they went to Kirkland and they are not KOSHER. Maybe if enough of us complain they will bring them back.

                                      1. I shopped today at the Costco in Marina Del Rey, CA, and the food court still had the Hebrew Nationals. Since that is a Los Angeles location only a few miles from the one discussed in the OP, it seems pretty obvious that this isn't a regional matter. While I realize there could be other reasons, my assumption remains that this is entirely about individual penny-pinching store managers determined to squeeze an extra few cents out of every $1.50 hot dog combo they sell - which, at least among well-informed shoppers, could turn out to be a costly PR blunder.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Arthur

                                          The Los Feliz (L.A.) store this past Friday also had a Hebrew National sign on display.

                                          FYI - I SERIOUSLY doubt a Costco store manager would have that kind of power. If anything, the change may be more of a demographical decision. So perhaps either upscale = Kosher or a more "ethnic" location equates the same.

                                          And just like Sears/Kenmore I would imagine that Costco/Kirkland has a HUGE say in the ingredients/taste of what it outsources. For humanitarian purposes, I will do further research for the board about any taste differences and will report back in due time...

                                        2. The Food Court in Santee (San Diego) still has the HN umbrellas and sells the Kosher dogs and there are several Hebrew National products sold inside the store. I went there yesterday.

                                          I think it is a local supply thing. I know different brands of similar items are sold in the Metro Detroit area Costcos (kosher dogs, breads, refrigerated meats, some frozen items...)

                                          1. I was at Costco in Marina Del Rey today and asked the manager if they were stopping selling hebrew national. He said he didn't know anything about it and would check it out and get back to me. By the time I got home he left a message that said they were not stopping selling them, but it was on an indvidual basis. There are so many different answers outh there. Previously I posted that I emailed costco and the guy said they were, so only time will tell.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: paprkutr

                                              I was at Simi last Friday and the umbrellas were out and they were advertising H.N. hotdogs. It tasted like the normal dogs we are all used to.

                                              1. re: SIMIHOUND

                                                The Costco's in Santee and La Mesa, CA no longer have the HN dogs. I was talking to a worker today and she said that there is one Costco in San Diego County that still has the HN in the food court. I'm sorry, but the new Kirkland brand dogs are HORRENDOUS!!! I'm so disappointed. I'm shocked by those of you who cannot tell the difference. The new dogs give all of my family the worst indigestion and they just don't taste good. While visiting family in Vegas over the holidays we were very excited to see that the Costco's there still have the HN brand. I was talking to one of the Vegas employees, and she told me that they actually have a contract with HN that they will not sell Kirkland brand. I don't know if that's true or not, but the employee I spoke with at the Costco Santee today told me she will not eat the new dogs I and should get everyone I know to complain, complain, complain and then complain some more. She said she has gotten nothing but complaints about the new dogs.

                                            2. Up in Northern California, I've never noticed any reference to Hebrew National hot dogs at Costco, but rather to Sinai 48. That said, it looks like they may have switched those to Kirkland, too. Someone posted on yahoo about it, mentioning that they went the way of the pretzels, which I also remember enjoying....

                                              1. Sinai Kosher, the company who previously supplied ALL Costco's with their famous / infamous dogs, have thrown up their hands, and said "no more". another sign of the economic times. My wife works for the food court, and Costco was taken a bit off guard by the announcement, they quickly added the "kirkland signature" dog to their lineup. On a side note, they had a bit of a time with those umbrellas someone also mentioned, Costco is contractually obligated to display the Coca-Cola brand, those umbrellas also had the coke logo, filling that requirement, no more Sinai Kosher, no more umbrellas, but now they were in a new panic, to get the Coke name back out on the floor. It's a shame too, i liked the Sinai / Hebrew brand :(

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: Epicurious Dad

                                                  Is Sinai the same company as Hebrew National? Because the Costco I go to has Hebrew National. So unless they are the same company, all Costcos don't carry the same brand of dog. I usually just get a slice of pizza myself. ; )

                                                  1. re: monkuboy

                                                    Sara Lee is the parent company of Sinai and they did recently announce that they are getting out of the kosher meats business but Hebrew National is a separate company (owned by ConAgra) and they are very much going strong, probably stronger now that Sinai is going by the wayside.

                                                    I'm not sure where EpiDad gets the idea that Sinai/Hebrew is one brand or that Sinai provides all Costco's with their hotdogs. This thread would seem to indicate that the majority of them are supplied by Hebrew National, the replacement of which is causing all this stress.

                                                    1. re: smarsh

                                                      Their selection of Kosher product does vary by location. In Chicago (home to Sinai/Best) they carry Sinai.

                                                      1. re: smarsh

                                                        Sorry to take so long in a reply... I correct myself, sinai kosher was in fact a division of sara lee foods, and they have basically stated that that part of their operations are no longer profitable. Basically, yes it was a great dog at a great price. my people at Costco, Oreogn, tell me that their food courts actually make little to no profit from the hot dog and a soda deal. Costco considers it a service to all their customers to provide food. Jim senegal, head of Costco himself, has refused in the past to bring on a price hike for the dog (thank you Jim). I do stand corrected on hebrew national, they are a seperate company, and a different dog all together. However, as I have been told, Costco has in fact tried using hebrew national in the past, the problem as I was told, was that Hebrew Nat. couldn't keep up with the demand that Costco had for those dogs. It is possible, that Costco's in other areas have continued to use Hebrew National while others used Sinai Kosher to bolster they supply issue. However.... knowing corporate mentality I would guess that once their main supplier of hot dogs was going under, they probably gave the edict that all dogs would be (drum roll please for corporate genius) KIRKLAND SIGNATURE! Anyway, sorry for any confusion, I just thought they were the same company.

                                                        1. re: Epicurious Dad

                                                          EpiDad -

                                                          Unless things changed after I left the buying office, Sinai and Hebrew National were both supplying the company. I left in 2000 but I don't believe that changed based on what I've sees at my local Cotstcos and while traveling. Historically, Sinai served the original Costco locations and Hebrew national the original Price Club locations. After the merger and during the resulting expansion it became more of a North/South division ie the PNW was served by Sinai and CA/AZ by Hebrew National.

                                                          My local warehouses, here in AZ, still have the Hebrew National umbrellas up. I had a dog last week for the first time in years though and it was definitely not a HN dog so they must have transitioned this region recently to the Kirkland dog(the food court employees had told my dad a few months ago the change was coming. he's a regular weekly visitor for lunch LOL)

                                                          You are correct that the hot dog program is paramount to Jim. If there is a lot of negative feedback coming in you can bet they are working hard to find a solution. The Sinai dogs were served in teh corporate cafeteria daily and Jim could typically be found having one for lunch. Wonder what he himself thinks of the Kirkland dogs from a taste point of view and not from a corporate strategy point of view. Also, wonder if he still uses his signature green pen! :-)

                                                          1. re: ziggylu

                                                            Went to the new Costco Business Center in Commerce, CA and they don't have the Hebrew National dogs, but the new "Kirkland pound +" and new Kirkland umbrellas. I'm sure if they didn't take down the HN umbrella's they're still serving them.

                                                    2. re: Epicurious Dad

                                                      I just checked today with the food court manager at the Novato (Northern California) Costco branch re: hot dogs. They are using the Sinai 48s until March. Then after that, it will be using Kirkland. For now, they still are using the SInai labeled umbrellas as well.

                                                      I will eat a few hot dogs before March!

                                                    3. Costco has evidently removed Kosher hot dogs from all of its snack counters around the country. If it hasnt happened in your area yet, it will very shortly. I found out today quite by accident. While eating my usual kosher sausage today and noticing a distinct difference in taste and texture i happened to look up at the sign. It would have been nice had i noticed it prior to eating since i do keep kosher. After inquiring i was told that since Sinai is no longer in business they will no longer serve kosher hot dogs/sausages. I wonder what they will do to the ones they sell in packages in the store itself. At any rate, i think it would be nice if we complained to Costco corporate directly since saying anything at the store will accomplish nothing. The main phone number for Costco corporate is 425 313 8100 after the recording asks if you wish to dial by name hit the 2 key and proceed to type in the name craig jelinek who is EVP and COO for merchandising....you may also try the name Dennis Zook who is EVP and COO for the southwest region....you may also try Douglas Schutt who is EVP and COO for the northwest and midwest region....you may also care to try Joseph Portera who is EVP and COO for the east and canadian area stores. Perhaps if we show them that there is an interest, they will actually do something.

                                                      12 Replies
                                                      1. re: faleentoby

                                                        I don't think complaining at this point is going to change their minds. They've thought this out for months before coming to this decision and I'm sure it wasn't an easy one. $1.50 for a hot dog and drink is an unbelievable bargain so the decision was either to maintain the price or increase the price.

                                                        I'm sure there will be an explanation shortly in the Costco Connection.

                                                        1. re: monku

                                                          Yes, $1.50 for a jumbo hot dog and large refillable drink is an unbelievable bargain. But if memory serves, that price has held steady for at least 15 years, probably longer. So IMO even a price hike jacked up to as high as $2.50 could have still been viewed as a phenomenal deal. I have to wonder if management even bothered to consider and research how many customers, such as myself, would have gladly paid more if they had stuck with kosher dogs, e.g., Hebrew National (which is unaffected by the Sinai shutdown and is already sold in bulk at every Costco store I've ever been to). Honestly, given the vastly diminished quality of Kirkland's version, I doubt I will ever buy a hot dog at the Costco food court again.

                                                          1. re: Arthur

                                                            "Honestly, given the vastly diminished quality of Kirkland's version, I doubt I will ever buy a hot dog at the Costco food court again."

                                                            Come on...the Kirkland line Costco sells isn't as bad as you make it sound. They pride themselves on the quality of the Kirkland line of products.

                                                            I'm sure they never considered jacking the price to $2.50. Maintaining the $1.50 legendary price was probably the deciding factor of changing brands. I'm sure unless you have to eat Kosher, you won't stop eating hot dogs there.

                                                            1. re: monku

                                                              I never said there was anything wrong with the Kirkland brand in general. I was just talking about their hot dogs. And if you read through this entire thread, you'll find the general consensus here among those who've tried them is that the Kirkland dogs suck.

                                                              Also, I never said they _should_ raise the price to $2.50. I just said they _could_ go that high and it would still be a great deal for a jumbo kosher dog and large refillable drink. The Costco at which I shop has always sold Hebrew National hot dogs, not Sinai 48, at the food court for $1.50. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that, after all these years, I can readily accept a modest price increase but not a switch to a distinctly crappier product.

                                                              1. re: Arthur

                                                                You know, I love Kirkland products. I find them just as good or better than the name brands at much lower prices. What I wonder about is with all these complaints, why Costco hasn't done anything about it? Aren't Kirkland products usually made by the name brand companies under the private label? I wonder who makes the Kirkland dogs for them. It would be funny if it was just a rebadged Hebrew National..

                                                                1. re: monkuboy

                                                                  The reason they haven't done anything about it is that most people like the Kirkland dogs. Before Costco made the switch, they blind-tested the Kirkland dogs against HN and Sinai 48, and Kirkland was purportedly the consistent winner.

                                                                  Some folks don't like change. Some folks are wedded to brand names. (My favorite is a relative who refused to buy a Pontiac Vibe because it was an inferior car, instead opting to pay more for the "more reliable" Toyota Matrix, which is mechanically the same car, and is built on the same assembly line.)

                                                                  Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one, and everyone thinks everyone else's stinks. If there's a blind taste test that indicates the Kirkland dog is an inferior product, that's one thing. People who just don't like change? That's another matter entirely.

                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                    I remind you of New Coke. Blind taste tests aren't the whole story.

                                                                      1. re: embee

                                                                        I don't go by blind taste tests unless I'm the one tasting. Recently Oscar Meyer beat out Hebrew National in a taste test. No way is it better. Remember, many people (especially kids) like bland tasting hot dogs.

                                                                2. re: monku

                                                                  Are you kidding, I've tried the kirkland brand and never will again. Quite frankly, they stink, can't compare in any way to the hebrew national. No, I wo't buy their hotdogs. That's the only reason I buy from their food court, why would I change? The customer is always right.

                                                                  1. re: aabmh

                                                                    I had the Kirkland Polish sausage the other day and didn't notice a difference.

                                                                    1. re: aabmh

                                                                      I love the Kirkland all-beef franks. I don't know how either Hebrew National or Oscar Mayer are/ To me, the Kirklands are exactly the same as the Best's Kosher franks I used to get at BJ's. Best's was bought out by SaraLee, then abolished.

                                                            2. Costco in Azusa is still serving HN hotdogs as of last Friday.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: eartha

                                                                As is the Costco in Austin, TX.

                                                              2. Just an update on the kosher hot dogs. I called costco corporate offices. I have been told that they found that although the hot dogs had been kosher, most people really didnt care if it was kosher or simply a good beef hot dog and so they are bringing in a new line of non kosher under the Kirkland brand. This will encompass all of the US costco branches. So if your costco hasnt changed yet, it will shortly. Also, the large kosher hot dogs and large kosher sausage we have been able to purchase in the refrigerator department to take home will also be changed to just kosher hot dogs and only the regular size hot dogs, not those nice large ones. I do still have a feeling that it is worth the effort to call corporate and make your voice known if it indeed matters to you as it did to me. Again, the phone number for costco corp. is 425 313 8100 when the recording asks, put in 2 to dial by name and the name you want to use is Craig Jelinek (you will put in the last name first as requested)...he is EVP and COO of marketing.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: faleentoby

                                                                  I recieved the Costco newsletter this week, and they addressed the change from Hebrew NAtional to Kirkland. They claimed that Hebrew National could not provide enough hot dogs due to shortages in the Kosher meat industry. I don't quite believe that since I have no problem buying Kosher meat in the supermarkets, butchers and delis.

                                                                  1. re: linsue

                                                                    Yes you are 100% correct.....according to the assistant to the man i mentioned above, costco has been looking into making their own brand of hot dog for a few years now and it had nothing to do with the problem with kosher suppliers. And to the individual who keeps talking about how wonderful costco/kirkland brands are, NO they are not all terrific and NO they are not all if any/many made by the name brands and if they are, it doesnt necessarily mean they are of the same quality as the name brand since costco is large enough to have them make kirkland products to costcos own specifications. We can all sit and talk about this for days on end, or listen to monk whoever above who keeps supporting costco and basically telling us to 'back off' or we can at least make an attempt by calling the individuals i have mentioned in my above post at the phone number i listed there also and NOT just talk to customer service.

                                                                    1. re: faleentoby

                                                                      Thanks for the info, i will definitely call, I hate the kirkland brand and just would not buy the hotdogs. I like Costco and i like the Hebrew national, I buy tons of them for our family reunions, etc. Everybody has gotten to the point where they expect me to bring the jumbo hebrew national. I can't settle for less. The guy that says the kirkland brand is good, well so much for taste is all I have to say.

                                                                    2. re: linsue

                                                                      My Costco served Sinai Kosher. I've read some served Best Kosher. Both those brands are gone. The plant was closed. My Costco (Des Moines) switched last week.
                                                                      I thing the processing plant in Postville did a lot of Hebrew National products. Shutting them down would have seriously hurt inventory. I can believe that they were having trouble finding someone that could supply all their stores.

                                                                      1. re: Bobfrmia

                                                                        Hebrew National is now owned by Con Agra. While I have no inside information, I would seriously doubt that they were getting product from the creeps at Postville.

                                                                        The other kosher brands are, indeed, gone as of last month, but I'm sure this is merely a red herring. Any shortages that might exist are in "glatt kosher" meat, which HN has never used.

                                                                        If the new Costco product is really inferior, and enough people complain, they might change their minds, If sales don't suffer, though, then they won't.

                                                                        Costco clearly has sufficient scale to make private label non-kosher dogs using a recipe licensed from HN.

                                                                        Similarly, my understanding is that Nathan's licensed their recipe to Rubashkin (the nice folks at Postville) for a glatt kosher Nathan's dog.

                                                                        1. re: embee

                                                                          I thought I remembered reading that Hebrew National got meat from Postville. I can't locate anything to substantiate that, and in fact most of my reading would indicate that you are correct. They did not.
                                                                          Sorry. That's what I get for trusting my memory.

                                                                  2. The Costco I go to stopped selling Hebrew national and were selling the Kirkland Brand, they were terrible, everybody put in complaints and they brought back the Hebrew National. They are the only hogdogs my family uses. Put a complaint in their suggestion box, don't buy the kirkland brand and the hebrew national will come back. Costco wants to keep their customers happy

                                                                    1. I'ved asked before and I'll ask again: what exactly goes into a hot dog? What parts of a cow makes it's way into a hot dog?

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: NewDude

                                                                        Just read the label. Beef is skeletal muscle. Kosher beef can't come from the rear quarter. Anything else has to be labelled by name as a by-product and mechanically separated beef isn't allowed anymore.

                                                                        http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/H...

                                                                        If you don't believe me, take a look at the ingredients in cheap supermarket chorizo that comes in a plastic roll. If they could get away with using beef instead of salivary glands, I'm sure they would.

                                                                      2. Well, it took a year and one-half, but my local Connecticut Costco switched from Hebrew National to the Kirkland quarter pound plus two months ago. I hadn't been in until today and tried one,
                                                                        One bite and I wanted to vomit. The dog went into the trash. I spoke to the dept. manager (who is a personal friend of mine), she informed me sales are off 38% since the switch.
                                                                        I know I'll never have another Kirkland dog.

                                                                        1. Costco explains why at this link:
                                                                          http://www.costcoconnection.com/conne...

                                                                          Costco USED to sell Sinai Kosher hot dogs, --not Hebrew National. However, Sara Lee, which owned Sinai and Best Kosher hot dogs, stopped manufacturing the brand and told its customers to eat Ball Park beef franks. The issue is that even a beef hot dog is not Kosher unless the meat is slaughtered and the product is produced under strict rabbinic supervision. See http://www.uscj.org/Kosher_Enough__A_...

                                                                          Bottom line: if you want Costco to sell a tastier brand, tell them. If you keep Kosher, you may need to eat your hot dogs at Kosher deli or at home.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: electroscribe

                                                                            No.

                                                                            For the umpteenth time here, just as there are many levels and sub-levels of observance in every religion, not all observant Jewish people follow the same rabbinical interpretations and dictates regarding the commandments of keeping kosher.

                                                                            Yes, most strictly Orthodox Jews would probably never eat a Hebrew National hot dog at Costco. (Actually, because of kosher certification disputes, they would never eat a Hebrew National hot dog anywhere, period.) But strictly Orthodox Jews do not statistically come close to representing all kosher Jews. I know legions of devout Jews who, while not necessarily as fundamentalist-leaning as Orthodox Jews, consider themselves strictly kosher and who had no problem dining on the Sinai and Hebrew National dogs at the Costco food court. Among other reasons, they affirmatively accept those products' kosher certifications and could see that the hot dogs were cooked completely separately from all the other food sold there.

                                                                            As someone who traverses the kosher and non-kosher worlds, I am not taking any side in this debate about kosher practices. At the same time, there are a lot of presumptuous, repeated generalizations about a contentious area of Jewish law posted on this thread that need to be curtailed. I respect everyone's perspectives, but this is not the place to be espousing one-sided religious dogma.

                                                                            1. re: Arthur

                                                                              Each Costco has a "tell us what you think" form that goes directly to the buyers. If enough people complain, they DO listen. At the San Diego location, for example, Jose's coffee was brought back after enough people complained. Pleasing its members is one of Costco's code of ethics