Howler Hotdogs

Howler Hotdogs are dedicated to giving a breath of new life to one of the country’s favourite snacks. Hotdogs were in need of a revamp, and that is just what this company has done. 

What is your company background, how did you start the business?

“The original brand had been around Christchurch for a long time. It started out of the back of a fish and chip shop in New Brighton before the owner at the time set it up as a standalone business.”

“We had just sold a café franchise and were looking around for another business opportunity at the same time that this business happened to be on the market. It struck me that while hotdogs were very much an item of Kiwiana, they were stuck in the 70s. Everyone was still doing the same ole, same. Hotdogs really needed to be made relevant again to today’s consumers.”

What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?

“Howler Hotdogs was born out of the idea of having a new, fun, slightly irreverent range of hotdogs that reflected Kiwi’s today, rather than the past.”

“The current range includes Mini Munchers, Original, Gluten Free, Peri Peri Chicken and Mitee Dogs. We use a better-quality sausage than other hotdogs providers, and our consumers really notice the difference. After all, you need a great sausage to have a great hotdog.”

“We also make our batter from scratch, as we weren’t happy with the commercial options available.  We focused on developing a batter that had a nice crispy coating when it was baked, as most people don’t fry at home anymore. As a mum myself I’d prefer to bake than fry. Having said that we have a lot of Howler Hotdog fans raving about how great the product comes up in an air fryer.”

“We have also managed to achieve a fat percentage of less than six percent on most of the range, which is something we are very proud of.”

Has there been any recent company news?

“We are just about to launch our new Vegan Hotdog. The packaging has arrived, so we begin selling into stores over the next few weeks. We did a test market at the Vegan Expo in Christchurch before Christmas and were blown away by the response, so we are pretty excited about it. It has been the most technically challenging project we’ve undertaken. Once again, the origin of the idea came down to not being happy with any of the options available commercially, and so we started developing our own vegan sausage. It took us over six months of trials to perfect. Originally, it just going to be vegetarian, but we realised when we had finished the formulation that it was suitable for Vegans as well, which was a massive bonus.”

“Some people are a bit weird about a hotdog being Vegan, they see it as an oxymoron. But we are all about having hotdogs for the whole family, and most families have a vegetarian or vegan in them now.”

What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?

“We have been experiencing robust growth since the launch of the Howler Hotdog range and are under a lot of pressure in the factory for more storage space. Food manufacturing is very capital intensive! We have had plans drawn up for an extension to the factory that we hope will be completed over the winter, which will then allow us to start looking at some export opportunities.”

Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?

“You can find Howler Hotdogs in the freezer at most New World’s, Pak ‘n Saves and Fresh Choices around the country.”

 

For more information contact Jo Williamson on 021 2266469 or topdog@howlerhotdogs.co.nz