Nathan’s Signs New Food Partner

Nathan's Famous has moved its retail food business to new licensing partner the John Morrell Food Group, a division of Smithfield Foods.

Nathan’s food licensing was previously handled by Specialty Food Group, but the iconic hot dog vendor most likely moved to John Morrell because of the company’s more robust marketing and distribution capabilities.

To that end, in addition to continuing Nathan’s line of hot dog, sausage and corned beef products, John Morrell already has a number of promotional events and sponsorships planned.

Among these are a three-race NASCAR sponsorship and added locations for the Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest qualifying events.

Additionally, the brand will hit the road with a fleet of mobile sampling vehicles this year. The mobile units will stop at more than 350 locations in the U.S., where fans will be able to taste Nathan’s hot dogs, enjoy a Coney Island experience with carnival games and view the International Hot Dog Eating Contest championship belt.

"We are very excited to launch our new partnership with John Morrell Food Group," says Eric Gatoff, chief executive officer, Nathan's Famous. "It will allow our very successful retail licensing program to finally achieve a truly national sales, marketing and distribution footprint."