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Story by Susan Stoga/Donna Scherner of Carson Stoga Communications
CHICAGO (June 27, 2006)

Butter, bacon, mayonnaise, horseradish…you name it, American’s like it on their hot dogs.  As the country begins to celebrate National Hot Dog month this July, results from a recent national survey reveal some juicy, fragrant and diverse hot dog habits.

It took the CSI-Chicago-Style Hot Dog Edition—Condiment Survey Investigation—that is --to survey Americans and uncover what they most like on their hot dog.  Results showed men most prefer onions on their hot dogs and women aren’t afraid to “wear” yellow in July and said their favorite topping is yellow mustard.  It wasn’t a surprise kids liked pantry-staple ketchup on their famed franks.  This fact doesn’t sit well with 113 year-old Chicago hot dog icon, Vienna Beef. 

“If I had my way, we would all top our hot dogs Chicago-style, with the ingredients Americans most prefer.  A true Chicago-style hot dog always begins with an all-beef Vienna Beef hot dog, water-cooked, on a steamed poppy seed bun, and is then dragged through the garden by being topped with yellow mustard, fresh chopped onion, bright green relish, two tomato wedges, two sport peppers, a kosher pickle spear and a dash of celery salt,” says Vienna Beef president Howard Eirinberg.  “Unless you’re under 17, ketchup isn’t part of the equation,” continues Eirinberg. 

Despite the fact that the Chicago-style hot dog’s ketchup-free, more than half (55 percent) of American’s eat their hot dogs with ketchup.

“People should be able to savor the flavor of their hot dogs, ketchup is overpowering and doesn’t let the palette appreciate its delectable nuances,” Eirinberg waxes.
Speaking of nuances and personal preferences, more hot dog habits reveled in the survey follow:

• Percent of respondents reporting that they eat hot dogs:  81%

• Percent that have eaten a Chicago-style hot dog:   21%

• American’s favorite hot dog toppings are:

Yellow Mustard *  55.4%
Ketchup   55%
Onions *   52.6%
Chili    40.8%
Bright Green Relish *  40.7%
Spicy Deli Mustard  32.1%
Sauerkraut   26.8 %
Dill Relish   12.7%
Tomatoes *   7.2%
Pickle Wedge *  7.8%
Celery Salt *   3.6%
Sport Peppers *  3.0%
Giardiniera    1.0 %
* denotes the seven actual ingredients included on a Chicago-style hot dog

• Other items named as favorite hot dog toppings:  barbecue sauce, cheese, cole slaw, mayonnaise, baked beans, bacon, salsa, horseradish, chili, seasoning salt, cucumbers, Coney sauce, tomato-based sauted onions, Tabasco Chipotle Sauce, potato chips, butter

• Men’s favorite hot dog topping:  onions

• Women’s favorite hot dog topping: yellow mustard

• Favorite hot dog topping in households with children under 18:    ketchup

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