FORT BLISS, Texas, June 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nathan’s Famous® and Defense Commissary Agency hosted an exclusive hot dog eating contest this past weekend at United States Army post, Fort Bliss, located in El Paso, Texas. Similar to the annual Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, which is held annually in Coney Island, New York, the competition was hosted by George Shea, chairman of Major League Eating (MLE) and emcee of the annual contest on ESPN.

Eating eleven hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, Sgt. Mark Vandermolen secured a trip to the annual Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York by eating more hot dogs and buns than any of his fellow military competitors. Spc. Kyle Globlek came in second place and earned a year’s worth of free hot dogs from Nathan’s Famous.

Additionally, the brand brought the signature taste of Coney Island to Fort Bliss with its themed mobile display where families enjoyed an afternoon filled with all-beef hot dogs, games, and prizes.

“Nathan’s Famous is proud to have visited Fort Bliss to give back to our brave men and women who fight daily to keep us safe,” said Mike Paribello, Smithfield Foods senior director of marketing. “As a small sign of our appreciation for all they have given to our country, we wanted to bring the Coney Island experience to them for a day of fun.”

Joey Chestnut of San Jose, California, currently holds the title of hot dog eating world champion after defeating rising star Carmen Cincotti with a Coney Island record of 72 hot dogs and buns in 2017. Chestnut’s all-time best is a world record 73 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Miki Sudo of Las Vegas, Nevada, will defend her title as female champion, having consumed 41 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes in 2017, a new personal best.

In recent years, an estimated 35,000 fans have traveled to the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island to watch the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in person. The live telecast of the event has consistently attracted millions of viewers since ESPN first aired the contest in 2004.

According to legend, the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has occurred every year in Coney Island since Nathan Handwerker opened the legendary restaurant in 1916. MLE, the governing body of all stomach-centric sports, sanctions the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Circuit by ensuring the contests are judged professionally, and guaranteeing the highest safety standards are in place at each event.

Smithfield Foods is the licensee of Nathan’s Famous pre-packaged hot dogs, selling a wide variety of beef franks at more than 20,000 supermarkets and wholesale club stores across the country including all natural, natural casing, skinless, bun-length, angus, and more.

For more information about Nathan’s Famous and recipe inspiration, please visit or

About Nathan's Famous
Nathan's is a Russell 2000 Company that currently distributes its products in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and twelve foreign countries through its restaurant system, foodservice sales programs and product licensing activities. Last year, over 550 million Nathan's Famous hot dogs were sold. Nathan's was ranked #22 on the Forbes 2014 list of the Best Small Companies in America and was listed as the Best Small Company in New York State in October 2013. For additional information about Nathan's, please visit our website at

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental, and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit

Smithfield Foods
Jeffrey M. Jones
(757) 357-8501

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at