So you're in charge of promotions and marketing for a major food company. You need to stay fresh in the public's mind, make sure that you're always on the forefront when it comes to people buying food.
You need to think outside the box, right? Come up with some products that will stand out in a field of competition. That's when some truly strange pieces of merchandise made to advertise food are created.
Sure, companies have run one-time limited items, like Pizza Hut's pizza-ordering sneakers, or the Velveeta "liquid gold" fountain. But in this run-down of insane promotional items, we're sticking to the things you can buy online right now. In fact, after writing this article, we are going to purchase an embarrassing amount of this stuff for ourselves.
KFC 11 Herb & Spices firelog
What is it: A log that makes your house smell like fried chicken.
How much: $18.99
This holiday season, why not intermingle the scents of fresh pine and hot cider with the smell of throwing a bucket of fried chicken on your fire?
The KFC 11 Herb & Spices firelog promises to give you the experience of sticking your face into a fast-food chain without any of the calories. A online Wal-Mart exclusive, this could also be used to trick your children into thinking you’ve ordered dinner from the Colonel, only to hand them a bowl of steamed beans.
Auntie Anne's slip-on shoes
What is it: Shoes that show your love of pretzels
How much: $53.95
Auntie Anne’s, a mainstay of mall food courts, sells what could be the most butter-soaked pretzels in town.
Catch all those butter and sauce drippings on your Auntie Anne’s shoes! The cartoon print decorating the slip-ons is titled “A Twisted Day”, and is also available printed on a shower curtain, if your love of pretzels knows no bounds.
Taco Bell hot sauce balloons
What is it: Balloons in the shape of Taco Bell’s sauce packets.
How much: $20 for a set of three
We’ve covered Taco Bell Cantina’s private parties on this site before, where these sweet babies were part of the decoration. The size of small pillows, you can inscribe your own witty messages on the blank areas. You can attach them to sticks (included), inflate them with helium (not included), or fill them with real hot sauce (also not included or encouraged).
Huge inflatable bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch
What is it: A 6-foot, 5-inch inflatable simulation of a ranch dressing bottle.
How much: $150
Complete with tethers and air blower, this massive Hidden Valley Ranch decoration could be placed in your front yard alongside Santa Claus at Christmas. You do not, of course, have to limit its use to holiday cheer. You can just have it in your bedroom, greeting you each morning.
Domino's Pizza sweater
What is it: Pizza-themed sweater
How much: $69.95
This Acrylic knit sweater will keep you as warm as the insulated boxes that Domino’s Pizza delivery uses. The website sternly warns: “NOT FOR IN-STORE USE”, so keep your personal advertising for the company on your own time, please.
Heinz / Kraft products luggage
What is it: Hard-shell luggage bearing the branding of sauces or mac and cheese.
How much: $158.50 apiece
You will either look like a giant fan of these products, or look like you are transporting huge containers of ketchup.
The Kraft/Heinz product website describes the ketchup luggage with: “Everyone will want to ‘ketchup’ with you while you are rolling this luggage!” The mac and cheese describer assures you: “You will not look ‘cheesy’ rolling this luggage through the airport.” Of the mustard, they write: “This luggage is carry-on sized with a hard shell and rotating wheels.” They could not think of a mustard joke, and we will not bother to!
Arby's curly fries golf cover
What is it: Protects your clubs, looks like curly fries.
How much: $25
You are bound to impress on the links when people see your goofy-ass Arby’s curly fry golf club cover. A perfect gift for the avid golfer that says: “I’ll be covering my hands in fry grease as soon as this round is over!”
Carl's Jr. "Panda Stars" shirt
What is it: T-shirt of a panda farting out Carl’s Jr.
How much: $22.00
Give hamburger chain Carl’s Jr. credit: they are easy-going enough to officially license a shirt of a sunglasses-wearing panda bear ingesting, digesting, and farting (let’s just say “farting”) out their food.
Created with streetwear designers Riot Wear, this shirt could also be used to educate kids on what happens to their food on its journey through the human body.
Popeye's Fried Chicken "Biscuithead"
What is it: A huge, wearable foam biscuit.
How much: $21.25
First off: WOW. This thing looks real. The temptation to smear the wearing of this foam wonder with butter would be huge. The Popeye’s website says it’s perfect for “parades and other promotional events”, but why stop there? Officiate a wedding wearing it! Show it to a pond-full of ducks and see if they take the bait!
Krispy Kreme lip balm
What is it: “Glazed doughnut” flavor lip balm.
How much: $.99
Cracking through Krispy Kreme’s glazed doughnut frosting is a big treat, but just smearing your lips with one of the doughnuts and just leaving it there doesn’t sound great. However, it’s under a dollar.
Dunkin' Jammin' Electric Guitar
What is it: A for-real guitar
How much: $325 – SOLD OUT
We’re really sorry, but this 300-dollar-plus Jay Turser Strat guitar that is completely covered in Dunkin’ branding is sold out.
If you were looking to give the gift of a double cutaway body, white pickguard, maple fingerboard and maple neck guitar that also is a total billboard for a donut chain, you are simply out of luck this year!
Will they restock? Will they offer a Dunkin’ keyboard, or a donut-themed drum kit? We can only wait, hope and see.