Blog: Competitive eating

Catherine Sleep | 11 July 2006

It’s been a weekend of great sporting triumph – Mauresmo, Federer, heck, even Zidane, showed why they are considered to be at the very pinnacle of their chosen sport. So with sporting prowess very much on my mind, it was just delightful to pick up the paper yesterday and learn that we in the food industry also have a race to run.

It’s called competitive eating, and it’s not for wimps.

The financial stakes may not be as high as those offered by, say, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, but the winner of the World Grilled Cheese Eating Championship, for example, gets US$3,500 for their (gastric) pains. Under the banner of the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE), speed-eaters chow their way though any number of designated categories such as meatballs, tacos, chicken nuggets and chilli.

Predictably, it’s not a pretty sight as competitors cram food into their bulging cheeks and swill it down with water in a bid to eat the most in the allotted time, but the real damage has to be happening on the inside. The really interesting aspect is that this particular event is sponsored by GoldenPalace.com, an online gambling site. That’s appropriate, since competitive eaters are surely gambling with their health. I bet no food manufacturer would touch it with a barge pole these days – even those that make indulgent foods are keen to stress that their products should just be a small part of a balanced diet.

They may be out of step with the bulk of society (pun intended), but for competitive eaters, excess is a right to be celebrated and exploited to the max.

International Federation of Competitive Eating


BLOG

Barilla puts sustainability centre stage

Barilla's 2016 results statement, published last week, makes interesting reading, not because of the Italian food group's commercial performance, but for the emphasis placed on sustainability achievem...

BLOG

UK M&A deal volumes slide in early months of 2017

Fresh data from Grant Thornton indicates the number of mergers and acquisitions in the UK food and drink sector fell to the lowest level for over two years in the first quarter of in 2017 - but the ac...

BLOG

Food policy returns to focus in Westminster

Amid the political turmoil in the UK caused by the EU Referendum, the resignation of a Prime Minister, subsequent burning debates over the Brexit “divorce” settlement and now by the surprise announcem...

BLOG

Danone closes WhiteWave, who will acquire Stonyfield?

Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...

just-food homepage



Forgot your password?