Joey Chestnut is averse to plant-based partnership

There will probably be one less hot dog on the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest this 12 months.

Major League Eating announced Tuesday that it’s parting ways with 16-time champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut ahead of this 12 months's competition, which is hosted by. Nathan is legendary.

Chestnut was previously offered a four-year, $1.2 million contract with MLE to take part in the new dog contest, a source accustomed to the matter told CNBC.

The decision to finish the connection got here after Chestnut decided to represent a competing brand that sells plant-based hot dogs, the corporate said in a press release to CNBC. The New York Post reported that the brand is Impossible Foods, but the corporate didn’t immediately comment.

A Account on X under Chestnut's name, he said late Tuesday he was “devastated” to learn from media outlets that he was “excluded” from Nathan's hot dog eating contest this 12 months. CNBC has not independently verified the report.

The post also said: “To be clear, I have no contract with MLE or Nathans and they want to change the rules from previous years regarding other partners I can work with. This is apparently the basis for my exclusion and has no impact on the July 4th event.”

Impossible Foods offers plant-based hot dogs that the corporate says are healthier and more environmentally friendly than the normal meat version, containing half the saturated fat of the animal version and producing 84% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

For nearly twenty years, the participants, including Chestnut, worked under the identical “hot dog exclusivity regulations,” the MLE said in a press release.

“Joey is a great champion and friend, and he is loved at Coney Island and around the world, so I hope he's there on the Fourth of July when we celebrate Independence Day and that he changes his decision and offers a vegetarian hot dog instead of ours,” Richard Shea, president of Major League Eating, told CNBC.

The MLE said it worked with Nathan's to accommodate Chestnut's wishes, including allowing him to take part in a competitive, unbranded hot dog eating contest on Labor Day that was to be streamed by an undisclosed major platform.

Joey Chestnut holds the Guinness World Record for eating probably the most hot dogs in 10 minutes, a title he won on the annual hot dog eating contest in 2021.

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York, is a Fourth of July tradition and is broadcast nationally on ESPN. It's also a marketing strategy for Nathan's Famous, whose trademark hot dog is on the decline.

Particularly with the rise of health-conscious diets and the increasing importance of the wellness trend for consumers, the new dog, an American staple, is one among many processed foods whose sales are declining.

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