Explaining Joey Chestnut’s partnership with Impossible Foods

Joey Chestnut’s reign as the undisputed champion of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has been nothing short of legendary, with an impressive 16 victories under his belt. However, as the 2024 contest looms on the horizon, Chestnut finds himself embroiled in controversy, and it’s not due to a new contender on the eating scene.

In an unexpected twist, Chestnut has become entangled in a sponsorship deal with Impossible Foods, the renowned purveyor of plant-based meat alternatives. This partnership, aimed at promoting Impossible Foods’ new vegan hot dog, has sent shockwaves through the competitive eating world, raising eyebrows and tempers alike.


Nathan’s and Major League Eating (MLE), the entities behind the iconic hot dog eating contest, reportedly frowned upon Chestnut’s dalliance with a rival brand, casting a shadow of uncertainty over his participation in the event he’s dominated for nearly two decades.

The prospect of Chestnut’s absence from the Fourth of July showdown — a tradition as ingrained as apple pie and fireworks — looms ominously, sparking speculation and disappointment among fans and competitors alike. While a last-minute resolution could potentially salvage Chestnut’s spot in the lineup, the looming threat of being sidelined looms large.

So, what exactly is Impossible Foods, and why has Chestnut’s affiliation with the brand caused such a stir? Founded on the noble principle of revolutionizing the global food system, Impossible Foods aims to disrupt traditional animal agriculture by offering sustainable, plant-based alternatives to meat products.

Their flagship offering, the Impossible Burger Made From Plants, debuted in 2016, signaling a paradigm shift in the way we view and consume food. By harnessing the power of plants, Impossible Foods seeks to address the environmental and ethical concerns associated with animal agriculture, championing a more sustainable and compassionate approach to food production.

With its impressive track record of reducing emissions, land usage, and water consumption compared to traditional meat production, Impossible Foods has emerged as a beacon of innovation and progress in the culinary world.

As Chestnut’s fate hangs in the balance, the clash between tradition and innovation, competition and collaboration, unfolds in the arena of competitive eating. Whether Chestnut will reclaim his throne or yield to the forces of change remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the 2024 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest promises to be an event unlike any other, with or without its reigning champ.


Why is Joey Chestnut banned from hot dog eating contest?

Joey Chestnut, the undisputed king of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, finds himself in a pickle, and it’s not the kind you’d find nestled between a bun. His recent dalliance with Impossible Foods, the sustainable food company behind the Impossible hot dog, has landed him in hot water with Major League Eating (MLE) and Nathan’s.

The crux of the issue lies in Chestnut’s newfound sponsorship agreement with Impossible Foods. While the move makes perfect sense from a promotional standpoint — after all, who better to champion a vegan hot dog than the reigning hot dog-eating champ? — it has ruffled feathers within the competitive eating community.

MLE and Nathan’s, the custodians of the iconic hot dog eating contest, were less than thrilled with Chestnut’s decision to promote a rival brand. Their attempts to find a middle ground, including allowing Chestnut to participate in an unbranded contest, fell flat, leading to a standoff that threatens Chestnut’s streak of 16 consecutive appearances at the event.

Despite assurances from MLE that Chestnut’s presence is wanted and welcomed, the absence of a contractual agreement between the parties looms large. Chestnut himself took to X (formerly Twitter) to set the record straight, clarifying that he has no current contract with MLE or Nathan’s, and attributing the dispute to their reluctance to adapt to his evolving sponsorship landscape.

So, what does this mean for Chestnut’s status as a competitor in the hot dog eating contest? As it stands, his partnership with Impossible Foods seems to preclude his participation, unless a last-minute resolution materializes. While Chestnut’s carnivorous credentials remain intact — as evidenced by his recent feats of feasting on chicken wings and pounds of bologna — the prospect of devouring 60-plus Nathan’s hot dogs on Independence Day hangs in the balance.

In the meantime, as the saga unfolds, fans and competitors alike hold out hope for a resolution that will see Chestnut reclaim his rightful place at the table, proving once again that when it comes to competitive eating, he’s a force to be reckoned with, meatless hot dog or not.


Joey Chestnut’s contract details

Joey Chestnut’s decision to align himself with Impossible Foods over continuing his long-standing partnership with Major League Eating (MLE) is a clear indication of the lucrative nature of his new deal. While the exact terms of his contract with Impossible Foods remain shrouded in mystery, reports suggest that MLE offered him a substantial four-year, $1.2 million deal to retain his presence at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

For a seasoned competitor like Chestnut, who has dominated the hot dog eating circuit for over a decade, this offer represented a significant raise from his previous appearance fee of $200,000 at the 2023 contest. The substantial increase in compensation underscores the value that MLE places on Chestnut’s star power and track record of success in the competitive eating arena.

Despite the allure of MLE’s lucrative offer, Chestnut made the calculated decision to forego the financial windfall in favor of endorsing Impossible Foods and their new vegan hot dog. This suggests that his agreement with Impossible Foods likely offers comparable, if not superior, financial incentives. Given Chestnut’s stature within the competitive eating community and his ability to command top-dollar sponsorships, it’s plausible that his deal with Impossible Foods exceeds the terms of MLE’s proposal.

Ultimately, Chestnut’s choice to prioritize his partnership with Impossible Foods over the prospect of a hefty payday from MLE speaks volumes about his confidence in the brand and the alignment of their values. As the hotly contested negotiations unfold behind the scenes, one thing remains clear: Chestnut’s decision to embrace the Impossible may forever alter the competitive eating landscape.