Fast food chicken giant Popeyes announced a collaboration with chart-topping rapper Megan Thee Stallion for a new hot sauce. Starting October 19, Popeyes customers can spice up their chicken sandwich or chicken nuggets with Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce, a sweet-and-spicy hybrid based on the rapper’s vibrant personality.
“I’m appreciative of Popeyes’ commitment to empowering Black women and look forward to opening Popeyes Restaurants,” Megan Thee Stallion said in a press release. “Teaming up with Popeyes is such a milestone in my journey and evolution as an entrepreneur.”
Working closely with Popeyes’ culinary team, Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce consists of honey, cider vinegar and Aleppo pepper that is meant to pair perfectly with the chain’s crispy fried chicken. The sauce will join the chain’s vast lineup of dipping sauces, and Popeyes rewards members can earn 100 extra points just for ordering via the app or online.
While other fast food restaurants have partnered with celebrities, this Popeyes partnership is much more involved. Megan Thee Stallion has not only joined forces with Popeyes as a collaborator but also as a franchise owner. As such, she plans to continue working closely with the brand and help create new menu items in the future.
“What can we say — we wanted to create the HOTTEST partnership of the year,” said Bruno Cardinali, Chief Marketing Officer for Popeyes, in the same press release. “We have a lot in common with Megan Thee Stallion — from our southern roots, to our shared love for flavor with a lot of spice, she embodies the proud, spirited, joyful and big-hearted personality we embrace with our food and heritage.”
Since celebrity food partnerships are not usually limited to new menu items, this Popeyes partnership extends beyond the restaurant. The Hottie Sauce drop will also be accompanied by the first collection of Popeyes x Megan Thee Stallion merchandise, called Thee Heat, which includes bikinis, long sleeve shirts, hats, tumblers and Popeyes chicken tenders plush dog toys.
Celebrity and fast food partnerships are not a new phenomenon, but rather a tried-and-true marketing tactic. Earlier this year, Mcdonald’s and Korean pop sensation BTS partnered for the long-awaited BTS meal, which included a 10-piece Chicken McNugget meal with two new dipping sauces – Sweet Chili and Cajun.
The BTS meal was McDonald’s’ latest installment of the fast food chain’s Famous Orders program, which launched in the US last year. The program featured partnerships with musicians Travis Scott and J Balvin, whose orders marked the first celebrity meal at McDonald’s since basketball icon Michael Jordan’s 1992 McJordan burger.
Lately, celebrity fast food meals and partnerships tend to feature trendsetting personalities that have an affinity for the brand they collaborate with. For example, TikTok dance star Charli D’Amelio recently had her go-to Dunkin’ order named after her. “The Charli” is a Dunkin’ Cold Brew with whole milk and three pumps of caramel swirl. The collaboration resulted in a record-breaking number of active users on the Dunkin’ app.
Whether it’s a meal created in their honor or culinary partnership, fast food celebrity collaborations have existed for decades, and they often lead to major success for the brand overall. The Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce and merchandise partnership with Popeyes is no exception.