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No more Hebrew National Hot Dogs at Costco?

I just read on the Kosher Chowhound blog that Costco has stopped selling Hebrew National hot dogs and a soda (for $1.50). Is that true? Does anybody know about this?

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  1. My local one had them this past weekend.

    3 Replies
    1. re: boogiebaby

      Is this just in SoCal? A relative in Texas said she got a Kosher National dog at Costco a day or two ago.

      1. re: nosh

        We had them in Brooklyn 2 days ago.

      2. The Agriprocesser plant here in Iowa, that the Feds raided a couple months back, is barely running at all now. They just filed bankruptcy. They produced 60 % of all kosher meat in the country, including all Best Kosher meats. It's going to take quite some time to bring the supply up again. You'll see the small Kosher Deli's go first, so if you have one you like, hurry in.
        Sam's club here in Des Moines has switched from Best Kosher dogs, to Nathans. Costco still has Sanai (sp?) Kosher, but who knows for how long.

        1. The Costco in Azusa CA still has Hebrew National dogs, and still $1.50 including a drink. We were there today.

          1. They still have them at the Costco in Henderson, Nevada. The HN umbrellas are in place and the price for a dog and soda is indeed $1.50.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Big N Fat

              There was a long thread about this just a week ago or so. I checked with my local Costco food court manager here in Northern California (where they've had Sinai 48 for several years) and he said they will be using Sinai until March. After that, they will be stocking Kirkland brand hot dogs, due to economic reasons.

              1. re: melisky

                Sara Lee, the company that owns Best Kosher, which produces Sinai 48, Best Kosher, Oscherwitz, and other brands, announced that they wil be discontinuing the entire Kosher line of food at the end of this month. So there will be no more Sinai 48 or Best Kosher, 2 very popular brands. "Economic reasons" may or may not be true. If true, it is surely a secondary reason since the franks will no longer be available anyway.

                The Costco I go to in Union, N.J. continues to serve Hebrew National which I think is better than Best Kosher. Best Kosher is not available near me, but I have had one of their dogs twice. A Wegmans supermarket carried them for a brief period of time. They were a solid, if unspectactular dog. The second time I had one was at a tasting for offthebroiler.com. Samples were flown in from Chicago. I did not like the one I had. It had sort of a corn syrup taste. I know corn syrup is not an ingredient since these dogs are kosher. Maybe I had a bad sample, or maybe the dog just tasted this way compared to the dozens of dogs I tasted that day.

                I haven't sampled the Kirkland dog, but people I know who have did not like it.

            2. I was getting a hot dog in the Eden Prairie, mn location and noticed all the umbrellas advertising Sinai kosher dogs were all down. I asked if the hot dogs were still Sinai Kosher, and they said there were for the time being but they were replacing them. they had no idea what would replace them though. Disappointing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: cheetobrain

                If you go to the kosher board you will see the reply that i entered there regarding Costco and their kosher hot dogs that they will NO LONGER serve at any of their outlets. The information i typed is the response i received when i called Costco corporate offices in Washington state. As to someone here commenting that they didnt like the Kirkland brand beef(non kosher) hot dogs that are the replacement product, you are not the only one dissatisfied with them. The day i noticed the change i also noticed a few ppl not totally consuming their hot dogs/sausages and simply dumping them. I have a feeling the only way any of us has a chance to attempt at getting them to change their minds and go back to the kosher ones, is to call corporate. As i mentioned at the start of this, the information is posted on my reply on the kosher board under the search words costco kosher hotdogs. Its worth a try calling.

                1. re: cheetobrain

                  CORRECTION: i was a bit confused with where my posting was with the information to contact corporate for costco...it is on the chains board with the heading NO MORE HEBREW NATIONAL KOSHER HOT DOGS AT COSTCO FOOD COURT

                2. The Costco in Madison Heights MI has the Kirkland dogs now too, and this is a Costco that serves a good size Jewish population

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: coney with everything

                    One of the answers i also received from the man at costco was that they had 'surveyed' many jewish people who told them that even though the hot dogs were kosher, someone who was truly following the religion would never eat at the costco food stand since there was non kosher food in the area and as soon as the packaging was open it would not be considered kosher by them. He came up with numerous excuses with each thing i mentioned....however, as i have said and truly feel, there is power in numbers...so please look at my posting referred to in my above comment and start calling.

                    1. re: faleentoby

                      If someone who "was truly following the religion would never eat at the Costco food stand since there is non kosher food in the area" they are not going to start eating there with a switch to a non kosher hot dog. This is faulty logic. Hebrew National is a quality hot dog which is why they should keep it. If they are going to replace it, they should do so with a hot dog of equal or better quality. There are a few beef dogs I prefer to Hebrew National, but it isn't because they are higher quality. It's because I prefer the particular spicing and I like a dog with casing, which the Hewbrew National doesn't have.

                      There is a Costco in my town. As of yet they haven't switched. I wish they wouldn't. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I will call.

                      1. re: faleentoby

                        The Costco guy's comment is actually true. Hardly anyone who keeps strictly kosher would eat anything at the Costco food stand. Indeed, the very religious don't consider Hebrew National "kosher enough" to eat anywhere, discussion of which is not appropriate here. While there are people who would eat the Hebrew National dog but not a non-kosher dog, there likely aren't enough of them to really influence a corporate decision.

                        Quality is another matter. Costco is one of the relatively few large companies that might be swayed by consumer pressure. I would imagine, though, that the complaints would need to number in the tens of thousands.

                        1. re: embee

                          I know that the truly kosher wouldn't eat the hot dog cooked at Costco, but I figured that it's advertising the fact that Costco carries them.

                          But I didn't realize that they didn't meet the "extra kosher" standard (we have an ultra Orthodox man that works here, and he is super vigilant about food so I'm aware that it can be an issue).

                      2. re: coney with everything

                        The Costco in Madison Heights MI has the Kirkland dogs now too, and this is a Costco that serves a good size Jewish population


                        I've never noticed "a Jewish population" shopping at Madison Heights. Now if we were talking about the Bloomfield store I'd say you were spot on.

                        Costco has likely pulled this product due to the litigation involving Hebrew National allegedly not keeping Kosher with their products.

                        1. re: TraderJoe

                          Costco didn't pull the product. HN was unable to supply the Costco deman due to shortages of kosher slaughtered animals after fiascos in the kosher slaughtering business such as happened at Postville, Iowas, as well as the demise of Best Kosher(owne by Sara Lee) whose products were sold at some Costco food courts.
                          Costco also won't publicly talk about it, but the $1.50 Hot Dog and Soda is a loss leader. It is far cheaper to sell their own NON-Kosher Kirkland brand hot dog than a HN frank. The price has remained the same for almost 20 years that I've belonged to Costco (from when they first opened in CT) and maybe much longer.
                          If Costco was reacting to the litigation, they would have pulled the packaged HN goods from the refrigerator cases, not just the loose dogs sold in the food court.

                          1. re: bagelman01

                            Costco also won't publicly talk about it
                            Then it's little more than speculation and innuendo.

                            1. re: TraderJoe

                              There was a discussion of the $1.50 Hot dog and soda deal on the current CNBC special on Costco

                              1. re: bagelman01

                                I'll have to watch for that. Intersting stuff. I left Costco yesterday shaking my head and wondering if this will be my last year as a member. No more Kirkland Italian estate EVOO. One of the best products they carried has been replaced by cheap Spanish oil. Grrrrrrr
                                They Also changed the Kirkland paper towels. HN hot dogs were still in the case.

                                1. re: TraderJoe

                                  Kind of off topic, but how were the paper towels changed? It seems they used to be the smaller tear off a section but now they are longer than the usual/standard paper towel. This has been the case for months now.

                                  1. re: TraderJoe

                                    The Italian estate olive EVOO is only available certain times of the year (pretty sure that has always been the case). When its gone you have to wait for the next vintage.

                                    1. re: FoodDee

                                      The Italian estate olive EVOO is only available certain times of the year (pretty sure that has always been the case). When its gone you have to wait for the next vintage
                                      I've never had any trouble getting that product before although from time to time there may have been a brief lapse of inventory. I asked the front desk and was told that product has been replaced with the Spanish oil.
                                      I'd be thrilled if that info was incorrect but I don't believe it is. :(
                                      The Paper towels changed in the last week here. New packaging and far less paper per roll (over 10 sq ft less per roll) plus there's now fewer rolls in a case.

                                2. re: TraderJoe

                                  As was your comment that

                                  Costco has likely pulled this product due to the litigation involving Hebrew National allegedly not keeping Kosher with their products.

                                  Just speculation and innuendo

                                  1. re: rasputina

                                    No, still available for sale in packages, just not necessarily for sale at their foodservice area.

                                3. re: bagelman01

                                  Do we actually know who makes the dog sold under the Kirkland brand? I wouldn't be surprised to learn that HN makes 'em; they have the same juiciness and snap,

                                  1. re: mucho gordo

                                    They are made by Costco, in a new processing plant in California, dedicated to hot dogs and Polish dogs. This was explained in detail in the Costco Connection, linked and referred to in a previous post. I believe Costco went this route because the regular suppliers became irregular over the years.

                            2. NW Tucson had HN dogs today.

                              1. In central Canada, Costco stopped selling kosher hotdogs from the U.S. several years ago, as a consequence of the mad cow episodes, and the unwillingness of the kosher firms to re-enter the market. They replaced with an all-beef dog from Olympic of Mississauga, which is juicy but lacks the spicing of Sinai or 58.
                                If I can second guess a corporate decision, they may believe that an all beef dog will satisfy the majority of Canadians, with a rapidly increasing non white population.

                                1. Have they changed the source of the Polish Dog as well?

                                  1. They are now gone from the Puyallup, WA Costco. They are selling the leftover deli dogs in a cooler case, 5 pounds for about 9 bucks. Different packaging and price than the ones you could always buy (but not for long) in the cooler. Beef or Polish.

                                    1. We still have them here in Richmond.

                                      1. I was craving a polish dog during my visit to Costco today, but alas, forgot to bring cash. Interestingly, the last time I had one of their dogs (a few months ago), it seemed to be surprisingly small.

                                        Have they reduced the serving size over the years?

                                        1. As of today, still Hebrew National at the Costco in Azusa, CA!

                                          1. The latest Costco Connection has an article about the switch to Kirkland dogs. They said that there is just not enough supply to meet the demand from the kosher companies, so they will be using their own all-beef Kirkland dogs instead. They also said that in all of taste tests they have conducted so far, the response to the Kirkland dogs was overwhelmingly favorable. Apparently all the people on Chowhound who have been complaining about how miserable the new dogs are were not present at these tastings.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: monkuboy

                                              They said it was a blind taste test against their former brands the new Kirkland brand won consistently.
                                              Somehow magically they say the 1/4 lb. Kirkland dog is 10% heavier and larger than the previous 1/4 lb. dogs. Also made from 100% beef with USDA choice or or better cuts. No fillers, binders, corn syrup, phosphates, artificial colors and flavors.

                                              See the article from on-line Costco Connection.
                                              page 24

                                              1. re: monku

                                                The "magic" is in the name: the new dog is called a 'quarter pound plus'.

                                                1. re: monku

                                                  I am a reasonably satisfied Costco customer, but in this case I will borrow from the funniest book of all time -- Ball Four by Jim Bouton. When I read Costco case's for the new dogs, my first thought was "Consider the source."

                                                  Now, let me play devil's advocate for a minute. The last time I got a dog at Costco, I found it to be incredibly, incredibly salty. Even for a buck fitty, I had no desire to eat another one.

                                                  Now, I have posted on various boards about my hypersensitivity to salt in foods, so maybe I'm being hypercritical. I guess what I need to do is to try one of the new dogs. Maybe they do taste better.

                                                  And I agree the kosher issue is a red herring (pun not intended). No one who keeps kosher is not going to eat at a Costco food court.

                                                  1. re: Bob W

                                                    Not true. I keep kosher and have been eating the hot dogs there for years. May people are not strictly kosher but will eat at regular places. If I know it's kosher, I'll eat it.

                                              2. It's true. I asked today. They are slowly changing over all the stores. We need to stop this!!! Ever since the beginning, they've had kosher hot dogs and now they want to push their own brand. Please everyone, call Costco and complain. 800-955-2292

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: swrecruiter

                                                  So what would our alternative be? HN is being discontinued, that's a Sara Lee decision, not Costco.

                                                  1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                    Sara Lee has no connection with HN.

                                                    1. re: embee

                                                      You're right, I mixed it up with Best. Reading too fast. Sorry, swrecrutier.
                                                      I guess the whole cutting of Sara Lee's kosher line as well as Costco doing away with the kosher dog at the stand makes these hard times for dog lovers. All-beef dogs can still be good, kosher or not. Somebody keeping strict kosher likely would not order from the stand. The kitchen area itself isn't kosher, is it?

                                                  2. re: swrecruiter

                                                    They sell HN (and other local Kosher products) inside the store. At a better price than you can get at any grocery store.

                                                    The (very large) hot dog and drink have been $1.50 for 25 years. Name ANYplace else that has kept the same price on any item for that amount of time. It was a deal then and it still is now.

                                                    In fact, name ANY place you can get a Kosher dog alone for even close to that price.

                                                    If you don't like the hot dog, there are other items to eat and drink. The new hot dog has passed months of consumer testing and is not bad, like some hot dogs sold in grocery stores or at fast food places.

                                                  3. I'm so glad I found this thread. I joined chow.com just so I could respond to it.

                                                    Since 1985 the $1.50 hot dog special was always a good, "old faithful" kind of deal. Always there. Always a bargain. Always so satisfying. It was just a great American thing, and always there in a pinch.

                                                    And then something happened. Blew everything to heck.

                                                    I ordered my polish, bit in totally unawares, and GAG! "NEW" Kirkland brand had just taken over. How disgusting! I didn't finish my hotdog, and complained to the people who I was sitting next to, who looked like they were equally disgusted.

                                                    I haven't eaten once since. I don't want to throw up.

                                                    Costco, I've always kind of liked your "Kirkland Signature" brands, but the hot dogs are, in my opinion, absolutely terrible. I can't even eat one. What you've done was a terrible shock and it feels like one of life's terrific simple pleasures has been ripped away. Every time I go to costco I see the "New Kirkland Signature" hot dog sign at the snackbar, like it's really some kind of big exciting deal, and it totally turns me off to buying any Kirkland products, and so I don't anymore.

                                                    Costco, do something for your loyal customers and bring back the HN's. If $1.50 isn't enough, I'd gladly pay more because it's worth more. That would be a heck of a lot better then me never buying another hotdog again plus being turned off to your kirkland brands every time I see your hotdog sign and think about was used to be. Wouldn't it?

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Ex Costco Hotdog Lover

                                                      You'll find there's more to do here than just respond to this post. Welcome.
                                                      There are several threads about this, and it isn't all Costco's fault. There are no longer enough Kosher beef franks being made to meet the demand. Costco stores sold HN in some areas, Best, in some areas, and Sinai 48, in some areas. When Best and Sinai went away, it is unlikely HN could possibly fill the void. My Costco sold Sinai. The Sams Club that opened years before them sold Best. I loved the Best.
                                                      Now Sam's sells Nathans, and, well, we know what Costco sells.
                                                      My bitch with Costco is how they could put the Kirkland Signature name on something that is just simply awful. Not just in comparison to Kosher, but in comparison to food in general.

                                                      1. re: Bobfrmia

                                                        My local Costco (suburban Boston) is still selling HN 1/4 pound dogs.

                                                        I'm not a huge hot dog fan, but I like Hebrew National. Not natural casing, (of course), but I like the spicing better than nearly all of the national brand pork hot dogs.

                                                        Not only were they still selling the 1/4 lb. HN dogs at the snack counter, but they had a bulk pack of the regular dogs for about half what the cheapest grocery was selling them for.

                                                        Haven't tried the Kirkland, and given the reviews, I won't be trying them anytime soon.

                                                    2. Ok, here is the latest Hebrew National Hot Dog sightings at Costco. To date they are still at the Henderson, Nevada and the Santa Maria, California Costcos! Keep letting management know we still want the HN deal! Not Firklands.


                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Big N Fat

                                                        Several visits to the new Commerce,CA Costco Business Center I've had the Kirkland Quarter Pound Plus Polish Sausage and have not tasted any significant difference in taste or texture once I've put mustard and sauerkraut on it. At lunch hour they've got four long lines of people indulging in the new Kirkland dogs and no one seemed to be complaining or protesting.

                                                        1. re: monku

                                                          I actually thought about this thread last weekend while we were shopping at a KC Costco. They sell the Kirkland dogs now; those-who-lunch-at-Costco seemed to be hoovering them down.

                                                      2. All hot dogs are junk food anyway, regardless of whether they are kosher are not.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: NewDude

                                                          Beef kosher dogs are less junky: only front quarter beef can be used. No organs or nerve tissue or non-beef muscle can be used, so I'm told.

                                                        2. HEBREW NATIONAL'S slogan has always been: "We answer to a higher authority."
                                                          Now we know that means COSTCO. Man, is GOD angry!!

                                                          1. Ok, nearly 4 year old thread, but I saw Hebrew National at the Austin Costco just last week.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: rasputina

                                                              They have never stopped selling the product in bulk but certain locations which in the past served Best Kosher/Sinai 48/Hebrew National dogs in the foodservice area switched to the Kirkland-branded dogs. There are still locations that sell Hebrew National.

                                                              1. re: ferret

                                                                I have no kosher concerns. I LOVED Best's brand and grieved the company's closing. But I was delighted to find that, to me, the Kirkland brand franks taste just like Best's. They are a staple in my freezer.

                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                  Costco used to carry the Best Kosher pastrami and corned beef and they were both great. The Meal Mart/New York brand of sliced kosher cold cuts that they carry now is just terrible. Bought them once and returned them and have never purchased them again. And I keep kosher so buying reasonably priced cold cuts would be great for me.

                                                              2. re: rasputina

                                                                That's interesting, did it change back from he Costco brand? I'm pretty sure it's not HN in the stores in my area in NY. And if they were going to change back to kosher, I'd think that NY would be among the first to convert.

                                                                BTW I assume you mean at the snack bar and not being sold in the dairy case.

                                                              3. Costco is a business. The only thing that would cause any well run business to switch (back, in this case) to something else is if they notice a drop in profits as a result of their decision. If the HN hot dog was a loss leader in the first place, that means that profit from all sales would have to be impacted as a result of their hot dog choice, AND they would have to be able to at least establish a correlation (if not causation) to the hot dog switch, AND feel that switching back would increase or maintain the desired gross profit from other items.