Auf wiedersehen, Wienermobile. Guten tag, Frankmobile.
No, it’s not named after Sinatra. “Frankmobile” is the brand new name of Oscar Meyer’s mobile hot dog, the unmistakable sausage-shaped motorized float that’s been teasing hungry Americans for decades.
While the company’s marketing folks have stayed true to its Germanic references — “weiner” means Vienna, and the city of Frankfurt holds that it has been making the elongated meat for more than 500 years — the brand hopes that the vehicle’s new name will suggest to dog fans that its products have been modified.
According to Kraft Heinz, Meyer’s owner, there’s a new recipe that marks the first change to Oscar Mayer’s franks in six years. Customers will soon see refreshed packaging and taste a “more balanced flavor profile and iconic beefy taste that is more delicious than ever,” according to a press release.
“While some competitors focused on having strong flavors on a few aromatics like garlic and/or onion, our team worked to balance these out while still keeping strong beef brothy notes throughout the dog,” a spokesperson told CNN. Details about the new recipe, however, remain hidden.
The original Wienermobile dates back to 1936, when Carl Mayer told his Uncle Oscar about a new advertising idea that was a literal marketing vehicle for the company. The original Wienermobile had an open cockpit to be driven exclusively in Chicago.
Today, Oscar Mayer maintains six of the 23-foot-long vehicles, which travel across the United States. The Frankmobile is really still the same Wienermobile as before, but now with Frankmobile branding on the bun. Including a “Please do not lick” warning, in case you were contemplating doing that. As for the Frankmobile’s specs: The custom-made fiberglass dog sits atop a lightly toasted fiberglass bun on a converted Chevrolet chassis with a 300-horsepower Vortec V8. It was designed by the General Body Company of Chicago.
This past February, during the Super Bowl LVII weekend, a Wienermobile had its catalytic converter stolen. Some thief relished doing that.