KFC, Burger King and McDonald’s are no strangers to a good marketing gimmick. With scented shoes, perfume deals or candle sets, the fast food chains are placing their bets on their iconic scents – good or bad.
KFC is the latest chain to delight the senses with its limited-edition Kentucky Fried Chicken X Crocs launched Tuesday. The fried chicken-inspired footwear, fully scented, went on sale for $59.99 and sold out in under 30 minutes, according to a spokesperson.
“Combining the unmistakable look of our world-famous fried chicken and signature KFC bucket, with the unparalleled comfort and style of Crocs, these shoes are what fried chicken footwear dreams are made of,” said Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer for KFC in the US.
Fast food fragrances aren’t new. A few months back, as part of its Quarter Pounder Fan Club, McDonald’s made a similar move to offer Quarter Pounder scented candles.
The six-pack of candles, which sold out in three minutes after launch, included six distinct smells: 100 percent Fresh Beef, Ketchup, Pickle, Cheese, Onion and Sesame Seed Bun.
But another burger joint had already beat them to the punch. In 2015, Burger King held a one-day sale of “Flame-Grilled Fragrance” in Japan going for around $40. The company toyed with a similar scent in 2008 with “Flame by BK,” although that fragrance reportedly went for much lower at around $4.
In 2012, to commemorate its Facebook page reaching 100,000 fans, Pizza Hut Canada manufactured Eau de Pizza Hut “boasting top notes of freshly baked, hand-tossed dough.”
“For now, we’ve only produced 110 bottles of Eau de Pizza Hut, but who knows what the future has in store,” said Beverley D’Cruz, Marketing and Product Development Director, Pizza Hut Canada in a 2012 press release. “The good news is people can enjoy the great smell of fresh Pizza Hut pizza any day of the week by ordering one of our signature crust pizzas.”
As is the case with all these scented products, they are commonly used to bolster brand recognition and provide an asset to the companies’ close followers, thus the limited productions.
In the latest case, KFC and Crocs went a step further, and for every pair of Crocs sold, KFC is donating $3 to the KFC Foundation’s REACH Educational Grant Program, which helps employees at participating KFC US restaurants further their education through college scholarships.