While fast food chains regularly sell clothing and experiences to create buzz, there’s a reason they’re ramping up the effort during the pandemic, said Andrew Charles, restaurant sector analyst with Cowen.
Charles said clothing featuring your favorite products is a good, low-cost way for restaurants to keep your favorite restaurant top of mind. “It’s another avenue for companies like McDonald’s to do this outside of TV (ads),” said Charles. This has become more important during the pandemic as people eat out less frequently.
As a marketing move, Charles said fast food chains tapping into influencers to create one-of-a-kind merchandise is a “home run.” “This is already a mature industry that needs to appeal to younger Millennial and Gen Z consumers,” he said.
Here are some of the latest in fast food fashions:
McDonald’s chicken hoodie
McDonald’s said it will sell a limited number of $5 swag packages via a special website that includes, among other things, a hoodie with a picture of its new Crispy Chicken Sandwich with the slogan “crispyjuicytender.”
The gift box also includes vinyl recording of a song about the sandwich from music producer Tay Keith, and a gift card to redeem for the sandwich one day prior to its official release at restaurants.
Chipotle puts a meme on T-shirts:
For its latest merch drop, Chipotle turned to a 12-year-old TikTok sensation for some help. The chain teamed up with Roy Murray, aka the “Chipotle Is My Life” Kid, for a limited edition clothing launch for its Chipotle Goods collection.
Chipotle decided to screenshot little Roy from the viral video and put the meme on T-shirts.
There’s more. For $28, Chipotle loyalists can also score a “Chipotle Is My Life” meme running down the sleeves of a long sleeve white T-shirt. The company said it’s donating all profits from the collection to organizations focused on making fashion or farming more sustainably.
A Dunkin’ wedding?:
Dunkin’ just unveiled all kinds of paraphernalia online, including a Dunkin’ bride satin robe, a Dunkin’-patterned bow tie and ring bearer pillow, and even a Dunkin’-themed veil.
“As new weddings are planned and some are rescheduled from last year, we’re excited to make it easier for coffee and donut loving couples everywhere to bring a little more Dunkin’ into their celebration,” Melanie Rabino, director of brand engagement at Dunkin’, said in a statement.