Joey Chestnut Banned From Independence Day Hot Dog Competition

Joey Chestnut is a world famous competitive eater.  He is best known for winning Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest several times. Over the years, he has set and broke his own records. As of 2023, he holds the world record for eating 76 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, a record he set in 2021.

This year is going to be different. Chestnut has been banned from the contest per an announcement from Major League Eating (MLE). It has been reported that Joey is being banned because of a new partnership the champion has with a competing vegan food brand.


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Here is a statement from MLE posted by CBS Sports:

“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.”

The statement continues, “MLE and Nathan’s went to great lengths in recent months to accommodate Joey and his management team, agreeing to their appearance fee requests and allowing Joey to compete in a rival unbranded hot dog eating contest on Labor Day. 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 hot dog 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, which he has dominated for years. There is still the opportunity for him to choose Nathan’s and July 4th over the plant-based hot dog, and return to the adoring fans of Coney Island. We hope that he returns when he is not representing a rival brand.”



The hot dog contest will not be the same without Joey. Last year, no competitor came close to Chestnut’s 62 hot dogs and buns rapidly consumed. The second place contender ate only 49. The year 2015 was the last time Joey did not win the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Chestnut has also set records in other types of  eating competitions. He ate  53 Taco Bell soft beef tacos in 10 minutes. Then, he competed at the World Rib-Eating Championship, where he consumed 13.76 pounds of pork ribs in 12 minutes. According to the MLE Joey Chestnut holds “55 world records across 55 disciplines.”