Frankly speaking

According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association’s 2009 industry trend report, 77 percent of households own an outdoor grill or smoker and 95 percent of grill owners used their grill in the past year. The most popular holidays for barbecuing are Memorial Day (56 percent), 4th of July (69 percent) and Labor Day (50 percent). And not surprisingly hot dogs are one the most popular foods to grill for 71 percent of respondents.

Everyone has their favorite hot dog brands, but they can be controversial. Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sara Lee Corp., the makers of Ball Park beef hot dogs charged in court on Wednesday that Kraft Foods’ Oscar Mayer hot dogs are being falsely advertised in violation of federal and state law. The suit primarily focuses on claims in a series of ads that expressly compares Oscar Mayer Jumbo Beef Franks with Ball Park branded franks.

The suit claims Oscar Mayer is presenting a taste superiority claim against the entire line of Ball Park branded hot dogs that is both false and misleading to consumers. Such claims contain an unclear and inconspicuous footnote in very small type that also falsely implies that more than one variety of Ball Park franks was tested, the Sara Lee Corp. pleading charged.

“This is a weak attempt by Oscar Mayer to mislead millions of consumers with false and inaccurate claims,” said Chuck Hemmingway, brand director, Ball Park brand. “Simply put, we believe that these untrue statements are all a bunch of bologna.”

Whatever your favorite hot dog brand, enjoy. We wish you and our troops a healthy and safe Memorial Day holiday.