After the Eggo waffle saga, readers implored us to find the whereabouts of another iconic [to vegetarians] American prepared food: the Morningstar Farms veggie dog. The dogs disappeared from stores nationwide sometime in the summer of 2009, but have never returned.
If you’re wondering what’s so special about these dogs: let me come clean. I, too, am a Morningstar Farms veggie dog addict. In more than a decade of searching, they are the only remotely edible meatless hot dogs I have ever found.
All posts on the company’s Facebook page are filled with off-topic comments from desperate customers who are also in the throes of veggie dog withdrawal. Here’s the official statement on their web site:
I cannot find your Morningstar FarmsÂ® American Original Veggie Dogs, corn dogs, or mini corn dogs in my stores. Can you help me find them?
We are sorry to tell you that our Morningstar FarmsÂ® Veggie Dog products – Morningstar FarmsÂ® America’s Original Veggie Dogs, Morningstar FarmsÂ® Corn Dogs, Morningstar FarmsÂ® Mini Corn Dogs, and Morningstar FarmsÂ® Corn Dogs, made with Natural Ingredients have been discontinued. It is always difficult for us to make the decision to discontinue a product, as we know it is always someone’s favorite. At this time, there are no plans to reintroduce these items.
At first, readers report that Morningstar promised that the franks would return soon, and the shortage was only temporary. Reader Teresa found evidence of a recall of Morningstar’s veggie corn dogs in May 2009.
Reason for Recall: We are taking this precaution after a routine regulatory agency audit
of a co-manufacturer’s operation indicated that these products may have been
packaged in an environment that was not in full compliance with regulations governing
current good manufacturing practices. In discussions with the FDA, they advised that
this be classified as a Class II recall, which the agency defines as a situation where the
probability of serious adverse health consequence is remote.
We went to the source. A spokesperson for Kellogg Company, owner of the Morningstar Farms brand, had this to say:
Morningstar Farms Veggie Dog products have been discontinued due to issues involving the supplier. It is a difficult decision to stop offering a product because we know it is always someone’s favorite. There are no specific plans to reintroduce these items at this time.
The specific products being discontinued are Morningstar Farms America’s Original Veggie Dogs, Morningstar Farms Corn Dogs, Morningstar Farms Mini Corn dogs, and Morningstar Farms Corn Dogs Made with Natural Ingredients.
But… but… that’s the same thing the web site says!
Ultimately: sorry, veggie dog fans, but after three months of research, we were not able to turn up the ultimate fate of the soy-laden goodness.