Why are your favourite fast food joints now stocking candles?


Update March 2017: Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder Burger King has just introduced its new product and spoof advertisemet for its WHOPPER® toothpaste. The ad campaign created with the agency Buzzman, is for Burger King France and shows a consumer wanting to maintain the WHOPPER® Burger taste with his new toothpaste, which comes complete with active WHOPPER® extracts….for optimal teeth and gum hygiene.”


You know the drill, KFC home of your favourite fried chicken and fries, and Taco Bell that place guaranteed to fill you up for a grand total of $3, on tacos with nacho cheese. All sounds about right, right? So why then have things changed recently. Both these outlets are adding to their retail offerings, as they experiment with brand engagement.

In September of this year, Taco Bell launched a pop-up store in New York, complete with a Virtual Reality arcade. The tacos were secondary to the main aim of the event, which was all about getting people excited about VR and the future of gaming. The pop-up was held at 79 Greene Street in New York’s SoHo neighbourhood and VR fans were invited to demo PlayStation®VR, with a side order of Taco Bell food.


Taco Bell VR Arcade

Speaking about the launch Marisa Thalberg, chief marketing officer at Taco Bell said at the time:  “Taco Bell is a brand that lives at the intersection of food and culture, and that is why we’re particularly excited to give people the chance to be among the first to access the hottest tech this season with PlayStation®VR — along with our limited edition spicy Quesarito $5 box. It’s two exclusives brought together. ”

This is just one part of the fast food brand’s evolution, just last month it announced a logo refresh and a new restaurant in Vegas, with a huge new tech element, including digital menu boards, portable ordering tablets to reduce wait times and 16 screens tracking social media conversations.

But Taco Bell is not alone in the fast food rebrand, brand evolution. KFC is also part of the party. In May KFC Hong Kong worked with Ogilvy and Mather to release a nail polish, to keep your nails looking great,


kfc polish

after you finish that finger looking good chicken, and now KFC New Zealand has created a scented candle, as an extension of the brand’s merchandise.

And while it might not be fast food, fast snack producer Cheetos is also getting in on the action, using social media  to release imagery of its new Cheetos gift merchandise that it is now stocking for the holiday season, from blankets and scarves retailing at $54 to jewellery, that retails at $20,000.

Cheetos Dangerously Silky Scarf

Cheetos Dangerously Silky Scarf

So what’s behind these food outlets diversifying their offerings? Well it’s clearly one part marketing and one part brand evolution. We as consumers are getting healthier, swapping out our full fat milk for almond milk lattes, and ditching our fast food habit for kale, so in this ever evolving consumer-led retail world, fast food joints have to think of innovative ways to stay ahead and stay relevant.

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