Fast Food Chains Are Making Merch Now: Here Are 10 of the Weirdest Products
In case you haven’t noticed, bizarre fast food products are everywhere. It feels like almost every week one of the major brands unveils the latest monstrosity that somehow combines burgers, pizza, chicken, cheese, donuts and tacos into one disgusting-but-also-weirdly-tempting dish. But the fast food industry isn’t just pushing the very definition of what is edible to the limits, it’s also re-defining what merch looks like.
High fashion enjoys a well-documented obsession with fast food — from Telfar’s ongoing collab with White Castle to Moschino’s McDonald’s collection — but recently the likes of McDonald’s and KFC have been forgoing luxury co-signs, instead opting to produce their own products.
Instead of trying to replicate the clout a KITH collab would bring, fast food companies have gone the opposite direction and taken a page out of the Demna Gvasalia book of designing for the internet generation, producing strange products that no one needs — but everyone wants.
Below are 10 of the strangest fast food merch items that have crossed our radar, from a fried chicken-scented KFC bath bomb all the way to Burger King sex toys.
Ever put on sunscreen and wish it didn’t have the sweet scent of summer, but instead smelled like the fried chicken you consumed last night? Well, back in 2016, KFC answered your wish with the “extra crispy” factor 30 sunscreen, scented just like its famous chicken.
However disgusting it sounds, the idea obviously appealed to consumers. The release was limited to 3,000 free bottles made available via a dedicated KFC website, all of which were snapped up almost immediately.
Earlier this year, Burger King teased a toothpaste designed to keep your mouth “Whopper fresh.” The idea was that the brand’s burgers tasted so good, people would avoid brushing their teeth to keep the flavors in their mouth. Apparently, the toothpaste would keep your teeth healthy while also including “active Whopper extracts.”
Unfortunately, it turned out to be an April Fools joke, but we wouldn’t be surprised if BK or a competitor came out with a similar product in the future.
Can’t afford decks and the aux-cord won’t do? For a limited time, you could pick up a free working cardboard DJ deck for the price of a Pizza Hut pizza.
According to the chain, all you have to do is plug in the deck’s battery then connect it to your phone via Bluetooth. You can then use any DJ apps you’ve already downloaded.
This is arguably the most impressive fast-food real-life hybrid product we’ve seen. It may not be something you’d use every day, but the fact that Pizza Hut made a working DJ setup out of cardboard is undeniably cool.
Let’s say you hate fried chicken but love the sweet smell of sizzled meats mixed with a variety of condiments. You’ve already brushed your teeth with the Whopper toothpaste but would like to take things up a notch. Enter Burger King’s “Flame-Grilled” perfume.
The scent was released exclusively in Japan for a limited period in 2015. It cost approximately $41, with a complimentary Whopper thrown in.
Love the smell of fried chicken but don’t want to lather it on in sunscreen form? Don’t worry, KFC has you covered for strange household items too.
Limited to a New Zealand social media giveaway, the brand produced fried chicken-scented candles adorned with a picture of the famous Colonel Sanders. Imagine coming home after a long day and relaxing to the sweet smell of wax and artificial chicken? Heaven.
Most fast food brands have dropped merch (see below for McDonald’s latest creation) but Pizza Hut’s workman jacket could be the most fire piece of them all.
The roadman-esque banger is made from the same thermal fabric that is used in the chain’s delivery system. The fire truck red jacket also includes polyester fiber padding to keep the heat in, splash guard, and a handy window in the sleeve to store your phone.
Released to celebrate National Pizza Month ( yes, pizza gets an entire month in our calendar year), the jacket was sent to one lucky Twitter user who entered an online emoji draw.
At this point, KFC could drop an entire chicken-scented lifestyle range. For this addition to its bizarre product roster, KFC Japan teamed up with novelty retailer Village Vanguard to make fried chicken-scented bath bombs in the shape of a chicken drumstick. Limited edition only, the bombs were given out via a social media giveaway, so only a select few were given the chance to relax in a hot chicken bath.
To celebrate Valentines Day, Burger King Israel went all out by releasing an “Adult Meal” complete with sex toys. Housed in a similar box to the traditional kid’s meal, the kit includes two whoppers, two beers and one toy — a feather tickler, a silky eye mask, or a wire head massager.
While we guess Burger King deserves props for branching out, we have to agree with a previous Highsnobiety contributor who wrote that “there’s an inherent contradiction at play here: anyone who takes their date to Burger King on Valentine’s Day is not going to be getting any action.”
Portable phone chargers are one of modern life’s best inventions. But a chicken box with a built-in portable phone charger? That’s even better. Called the “Watt A Box,” KFC’s India’s limited edition creation is a 5-in-1 box boasting a USB and charging dock, as well as an ample amount of fried chicken. This idea is so good, we’re calling for it to be reissued.
Unsurprisingly McDonald’s couldn’t resist putting images of its signature Big Mac on a wide-ranging merch line. These days, you can cover your house with burger wallpaper while wearing an all-over print onesie, snuggled up in a branded sleeping bag. If you decide to venture outside, you can throw on your Big Mac wellies and raincoat, and make sure your dog is protected from the elements in a Big Mac jacket.
In case you still haven’t got the picture, if you can think of an item, there’s a high chance that McDonald’s has released a Big Mac version of it.
Now, meet the artist making food porn for sneakerheads.