Joey Chestnut Barred from Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest After Vegan Brand Deal

Joey Chestnut Barred from Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest After Vegan Brand Deal

Competitive eating star Joey Chestnut has been barred from Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest after signing a deal with vegan brand Impossible Foods. MLE stated he could rejoin if he drops the sponsorship. Chestnut expressed disappointment, noting he had been training to defend his title.

New York (Bollywood Fever): Competitive eating star Joey “Jaws” Chestnut has been barred from America’s premiere hot dog contest after signing a sponsorship deal with a vegan brand. Chestnut’s exclusion from next month’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York follows his agreement with Impossible Foods, a maker of plant-based hot dogs competing with the Nathan’s brand.

“We are devastated to learn that Joey Chestnut has chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs rather than competing in the 2024 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest,” Major League Eating (MLE) said on Tuesday.

MLE added that Chestnut could rejoin the competition if he dropped his vegan sponsorship. “Joey Chestnut is an American hero. We would love nothing more than to have him at the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest,” the statement said. “We hope he returns when he is not representing a rival brand.”

Chestnut, a 16-time winner of the Nathan’s contest, holds the world record for hot dog eating, having consumed 76 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes at the 2021 contest. The event, which is attended by about 40,000 people annually and televised in the US, challenges competitors to eat as many hot dogs as they can in 10 minutes.

In addition to his hot dog record, Chestnut holds various other eating records, including consuming 141 hard-boiled eggs in eight minutes, 23 meat pies in 10 minutes, 182 chicken wings in 30 minutes, and 25.5 ice cream sandwiches (choc ices) in six minutes.

Chestnut expressed his disappointment on social media, stating he was “gutted” by the ban and had “been training to defend [his] title.” He clarified, “To set the record straight, I do not have a contract with MLE or Nathan’s, and they are looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to other partners I can work with.”

MLE stated that it and Nathan’s “went to great lengths” to accommodate Chestnut but that he and his managers “prioritised a new partnership.”

The Fourth of July competition has been a tradition since Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker opened his stand on Coney Island in 1916. According to legend, on July 4, 1916, four European immigrants argued about who among them was more American and decided to settle it with a hot dog eating contest. However, the true origins of the contest remain a mystery.

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