When you think about summertime here in Maine, you often think about lobster rolls, baseball, cold beers, lake time, and red hot dogs.

Those new to the state may be caught off guard when they see a bright red hot dog, a form of meat that is literally a bright, almost fluorescent red. Some people will even debate that they must be insanely unhealthy for you because the color doesn’t look natural.

Is the color natural? Why the heck are they red?

These are questions you have probably asked yourself even if you are familiar with Maine’s famous Red Snapper hot dogs.

Is it because of the meat they use? The way they are processed? Is it so they can ‘snap’?

None of the above.

Red hot dogs, found almost exclusively in Maine (and sometimes North Dakota), are red simply because of marketing.

Yes, it’s all just a marketing tactic. And Maine isn’t the first to do it; dying sausages red goes all the way back to the 1920s in Denmark when the red coloring was used to show which sausages were on sale.

What’s the Deal With Red Hot Dogs?

Well, first off, they are freaking delicious so hold the judgment.

I recently learned from the infamous foodie publication, Mashed, that the red coloring of our Red Snappers is all just a marketing technique. The addition of red dyes #40, #3, and sodium nitrate creates the bright red color that just simply differentiates them from competitors.

The crazy color draws your attention and distracts you from the competitors' dogs. That’s all there is to it.

Why do Red Hot Dogs Snap?

That’s the best part! That is also another thing I learned from Mashed’s YouTube video, that the hot dogs are made with all-natural lamb casing rather than the synthetic garbage other hot dogs use and that gives it the satisfying SNAP.

I would say we eat these not because they are red but because they SNAP when we bite into them. I don’t know why that is so pleasing but it just is.

I will now be using those keywords, “all-natural”, in all my fights advocating for and defending these red delicious dogs.

You really do learn something new every day. You're welcome.

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