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Joey Chestnut barred from Nathan's hot dog contest over Impossible Foods deal

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, widely considered the greatest professional eater in history, won't be allowed to compete at the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest after signing an endorsement deal with plant-based company Impossible Foods.

The deal with Impossible, which is trying to attract more meat eaters with its new plant-based hot dog, does not prohibit Chestnut from entering eating competitions, including Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog-Eating Contest on July 4. "We love Joey and support him in any contest he chooses. It's OK to experiment with a new dog. Meat eaters shouldn't have to be exclusive to just one wiener," the California-based company said in a statement.

But Nathan's demands loyalty from its competitors - at least when it comes to hot dog brands, said George Shea, chair and co-founder of Major League Eating, the governing body for numerous competitive eating contests, including Nathan's. A key agreement for all competitors at the Nathan's contest - where people compete for the "Mustard Belt" and prize money in front of ESPN's cameras - is to "not represent a rival hot dog brand," Shea told The Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2024/06/11/joey-chestnut-nathans-hot-dog-contest-impossible-foods/

 

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