Hot dog war starting to sizzle

May 20, 2009 at 7:18 PM

CHICAGO, May 20 (UPI) -- The war for the hearts and stomachs of hot dog lovers reached federal court in Chicago Wednesday when Sara Lee Corp. sued Kraft Foods Inc., documents showed.

Sara Lee, makers of Ball Park franks, accuses Kraft of misleading consumers with advertising that touts taste tests claiming its Oscar Mayer hot dogs are better, Crain's Chicago Business reported.

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

The companies sell more hot dogs than any one else in the United States. But Sara Lee, based in Downers Grove, Ill., said data from Information Resources Inc. shows sales of its Ball Park beef hot dogs have grown 14.2 percent in the last year while sales of the Oscar Mayer beef hot dogs made by Kraft of Northfield, Ill., are down 1.1 percent.

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