Joey Chestnut Out of 2024 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Over Rival Vegan Brand Deal

Chestnut felt obligated to honor his agreement with Impossible Foods, although the specifics of the agreement were not disclosed.

Joey Chestnut, who usually wins the annual July 4th Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Competition, will not participate this year due to a deal he made to represent another hot dog brand. The New York Post reports that Chestnut's deal with vegan hot dog manufacturer Impossible Foods will prevent him from winning a record 17th title on Coney Island.

According to organizers interviewed by the Post, the problem lies in Chestnut's demand to endorse the competing vegan hot dog. The top maker of meatless "meats" is known for its Impossible Burger, which includes a lab-synthesized substance called "heme." Recently, they also introduced a hot dog substitute which is "made from plants."

Out from the Show

Joey Chestnut
Joey Chestnut X

According to one source cited by the Post, Chestnut received $200,000 to participate in last year's contest and was offered a $1.2 million, four-year deal starting this year. Ultimately, Chestnut felt obligated to honor his agreement with Impossible Foods, although the specifics of the agreement were not disclosed.

However, Chestnut is not barred from the event due to his sponsorship, as per NBC News.

"There is no ban. Major League Eating wants him there. The fans want him there. Nathan's wants him there," said Richard Shea of Major League Eating, according to NBC.

"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," read a statement from Major League Eating (MLE), which sanctions the event.

"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.

"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, which he has dominated for years. We hope that he returns when he is not representing a rival brand."

Star in His Own Right

Joey Chestnut
Joey Chestnut X

Known as 'Jaws,' Chestnut devoured 62 hot dogs to claim the 2023 title, a slight decrease from the record 76 he consumed in 2021. Earlier this month, Chestnut was spotted consuming pints of ice cream during a contest at a minor league baseball game.

The 40-year-old showcased his eating skills extend beyond hot dogs by finishing four pints of ice cream in a minute.

According to, Chestnut also ate 36 nuggets of fried walleye in a minute during a pregame 'Eat and Greet' session with fans.

He reportedly visited a minor league stadium in Lansing, Michigan, last August and set a world record by eating 13 olive burgers in five minutes.

Chestnut has a history of competitive ice cream eating as well, setting a record by consuming 23.5 ice cream sandwiches in six minutes in 2018, according to Major League Eating.

In 2022, he told USA TODAY Sports that he earned over $500,000 and has a net worth exceeding $4 million.

Chestnut has promotional agreements with DUDE Wipes, Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, Wonderful Pistachios, and Pepsi.

He has been a fixture on the competitive eating circuit since 2005, when he gained attention for his performance in the deep-fried asparagus eating championship.