To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut banned from Nathan's contest for representing vegan meat brand

Hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut banned from Nathan's contest for representing vegan meat brand

Joey Chestnut has won the annual hot dog eating contest a whopping 16 times

Joey Chestnut is out of this year's annual 4 July Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest over a falling out involving vegan hot dogs.

Over the years, competitive eater Joey Chestnut has won Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest a whopping 16 times.

The famous eating competition takes place every year on Independence Day at Nathan's Famous in Brooklyn's Coney Island neighborhood and sees competitors stand on a raised platform behind a long table piled high with hot dogs in buns and drinks to wash them down.

The rules are simple. The contestant who eats the most hot dogs in ten minutes without barfing wins.

But, despite being one of the competitors who put the hot dog eating competition on the map, 40-year-old Joey Chestnut - who ate an insane 62 dogs to claim glory last year - has been ruled out of this year's event.

16-time Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest winner Joey Chestnut has been ruled out of the 2024 event (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
16-time Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest winner Joey Chestnut has been ruled out of the 2024 event (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

That's because he chose to represent another brand of wiener.

Chestnut struck a deal with Impossible Foods, which recently released a plant-based frankfurter alternative.

Major League Eating (MLE), who sanctions the event, offered Chestnut a $1.2 million last year for a four-year contract to appear at the annual competition, a source told the New York Post.

They were 'devastated' that he was working with the brand.

A rep for MLE said in a statement: "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.

"MLE and Nathan’s went to great lengths to accommodate Joey and his management team, agreeing to the appearance fee and allowing Joey to compete in a rival, unbranded hot dog eating contest on Labor Day.

MLE are 'devastated' to lose him from the contest over a brand deal with a rival wiener brand (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
MLE are 'devastated' to lose him from the contest over a brand deal with a rival wiener brand (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

They continued: "For nearly two decades we have worked under the same basic hot dog exclusivity provisions. However, it seems that Joey and his managers have prioritized a new partnership with a different brand over our long-time relationship.

"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. We hope he returns when he is not representing a rival brand."

Earlier this year, the California-based competitive eater shared his love for the job with the New York Post.

"I think it’s the best job in the world," he said. "As long as I can stay healthy, I’m gonna stay involved one way or another.

"It’s hard on the body. A lot of these contests, I’m gonna gain weight. Practicing, then it takes a toll to get back to my healthy weight. But it’s something I love."

Featured Image Credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Topics: News, US News, Food and Drink

Choose your content: