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The hot dog and hamburger unite in Australia to become the Hamdog

A new food combination that merges a hot dog and a hamburger has launched in Australia, with its inventor telling CNBC that he hopes to bring the product to the US next year.

“I had the idea on holiday when I was leaving a bar in Nashville. I grabbed a burger and a hot dog as I was really hungry. I was sitting in the car eating them both at the same time and my wife was looking at me like I was an idiot,” Mark Murray, who lives in Perth, Australia, told CNBC via telephone.

That was in 2004, but Murray has since applied and been granted patents in Australia and the US and has appeared on Australia’s “Shark Tank” where he was rejected by the judges.

Now the product – called the Hamdog – has “hit the ground running” since its formal launch two months ago, according to Murray, who added that recent media attention has made it “pretty much explode worldwide.”

The Hamdog – a hamburger with a hot dog sausage running through it – comes in a bun made in a special mold and also features lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese and a variety of sauces. The company is now looking at ways to semi-automate the production.

Murray’s company claims that it’s the world’s only patented burger, and is available at market stalls at sporting events in Australia like Speedway and Australian rules football. He told CNBC that he’s currently in negations with resellers in the US and expects to bring the product to the country in 2017.

“America’s a bloody big place, they consume around 50 billion burgers a year,” he told CNBC.

“If we pick up even 1 per cent of that market, then that’s still around US$2.5 billion a year.”