Hotdog Eating Champ Banned after Taking Vegan Sponsor

June 12, 2024 3:29 pm in by

Competitive eating champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut has been barred from participating in America’s top hot dog contest after partnering with Impossible Foods, a vegan hot dog brand. Chestnut’s ousting from the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest follows this contentious sponsorship deal.

“We are heartbroken to learn that Joey Chestnut has opted to represent a rival brand selling plant-based hot dogs rather than competing in the 2024 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest,” Major League Eating (MLE) announced. They stated Chestnut could rejoin the contest only if he relinquishes his vegan sponsorship.

Chestnut, a 16-time winner of the Nathan’s contest, expressed his disappointment on social media, noting he had no binding contract with MLE or Nathan’s. The event, which draws around 40,000 spectators annually and is televised across the US, requires contestants to consume as many hot dogs and buns as possible within 10 minutes. Chestnut holds the world record, having eaten 76 hot dogs in 2021.

Article continues after this ad

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has been a Fourth of July tradition since 1916, with origins that add to its allure. As the drama unfolds, fans are left wondering if Chestnut will return to reclaim his title.