The Margin: Oscar Mayer gave away straws shaped like hot dogs. They were gone in 9 minutes.


What’s today’s hottest culinary accessory? It could be a straw shaped like a hot dog.

Oscar Mayer announced earlier this week that it was offering such an item as a promotional giveaway, with those interested in receiving one being advised to go to a web page to pre-order. A company spokesperson said the initial allotment of free straws was claimed within nine minutes on Tuesday — and that a second allotment went similarly as fast on Wednesday.

The spokesperson added that the company is trying to keep up with demand and will have multiple giveaway occasions throughout the week. In all, the brand plans to give out hundreds of the items, the spokesperson said.

Why a frankfurter straw — albeit one made from silicone? The basis for the idea isn’t Oscar Mayer’s, but rather originated via a TikTok video showing a baseball-game attendee turning a real hot dog into a straw, then sipping a beer through it. The video went viral and #hotdogstraw became a thing.

As one observer on Twitter (now X) put it: “I’d take it over a paper straw any day.”

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Oscar Mayer officials said the giveaway item was created in honor of the one-year anniversary of the TikTok video.

Kelsey Rice, an Oscar Mayer associate director, said in a statement that “we hope it brings a friendly reminder that we don’t need to take enjoying a delicious hot dog seriously.” (To be clear, the Oscar Mayer straw is strictly inedible.)

Oscar Mayer, part of Kraft Heinz KHC, +0.38%, is the latest brand to use a quirky promotional item as a way to get its name out there.

Other recent examples have included Arby’s, which offered french fry-flavored vodkas, and Hershey’s HSY, +0.60% Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which sold a supersized version of the popular candy as a Thanksgiving pie. The latter item was claimed by hungry fans of the sweet treat within two hours.

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