Verona, NY (WIBX) - The Zaccanelli Food Group and the Oneida Indian Nation have added another connoisseur to their Hofmann Hot Dog fold, adding star power to the iconic brand.

During a press conference at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, it was announced that the company has signed Takeru Kobayashi as their official brand ambassador and business partner.
Since beginning his career as a professional eater, Kobayashi has won dozens of competitive titles and broke the hot dog world record in July 2011, eating 69 in ten minutes. (See him in action in the video below.)

Frank Zaccanelli, the Hofmann Hot Dog Company's CEO, says Kobi will play a major role in the company's future development.

"What Michael Jordan did for Nike, Kobi is now going to do for Hofmann, which is to be a brand ambassador, to basically put his name on products underneath our umbrella, to become a direct partner with us in Hofmann and to really advance the opportunity to be able to now grow this great company," Zaccanelli said.

Kobayashi was also pleased, saying through his interpreter that the decision to join Hofmann's was easy.


"I thought it was a match made in heaven," Kobayashi said. "They kept saying to me, over and over again, 'our hot dogs are the best in the world.' Not many people have that kind of confidence to really be able to say that. And every single person I've met through Hofmann's or Frank and his team, they all said the same thing. They said 'no one makes a better hot dog.'"

Kobayashi plans to start working with fifth-generation Hofmann founder, Rusty Flook, to create a new "Kobi" line of hot dogs, under a new division of the company that will ship hot dogs nationally and to Asia. The products will be endorsed by Kobayashi and will feature his likeness on the packaging.

Flook says he hopes to roll out the first products by the end of the year.

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