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Why Fast Food Companies Should Use Branded Swag


Branded swag has become increasingly popular among a variety of different companies. With that being said, many fast-food chains across the country have been debuting their own line of branded merchandise. Tim Hortons, Popeye’s, Cheetos, McDonald’s, among many others have all come out with apparel lines recently. From ‘Double Double’ themed jogger sets from Tim Hortons to ‘Big Mac’ bed sheets, onesies, and wrapping paper, the possibilities are endless with branded merchandise. Swag gives consumers an opportunity to represent the brands that they enjoy - even their favourite restaurant! Since these marketing tactics by fast food companies are fairly new, this has been a fun and exciting transition for many establishments. Consumer interaction and exposure has changed dramatically with a rise in social media, and in turn, the way that companies sell to consumers has also transitioned. Selling branded swag is a great way to take the company’s marketing strategies to the next level, keep up with the times and maintain/achieve large consumer bases. It is also a great way to sell to the millennial demographic. Here are a few of our favourite branded swag items from restaurants across North America:


Popeyes clothing line was more than just branded merchandise as it sparked a lot of conversation. Many people recognized that it was very similar to a clothing line that Beyonce had released earlier in collaboration with Adidas. Not only this, but the models for Popeyes clothing line were all Popeye’s employees and all proceeds from the collection went to the Popeyes Foundation Family Fund in which they provide hunger relief to a variety of US communities.


McDonald’s in the US similarly launched a brand of merchandise with proceeds going towards their Ronald McDonald House Charity. These items include but are not limited to, a Happy Meal Cross-Body Bag, World Famous Fries Pattern Socks, Big Mac Camo Duffle Bag and Golden Arches Stainless Steel Tumbler.


If you have ever wanted to look like your favourite taco bell sauce packet, now is your chance. With a full merchandise line of Halloween costumes, clothing and branded accessories, Taco Bell is another brand that has decided to join the branded merchandise club. Taco Bell Taco Slippers, Women’s and Men’s Pajama Sets and an Ultra Plush Hot Sauce Packet are just a few of the items consumers can purchase from the Taco Bell Shop. Taco Bell experienced a 10% increase in revenue since it launched its online Taco Shop in 2016 (Mertes, 2021).


Chipotle has not shied away from the branded merchandise industry either. They opted for promotional apparel products. Their iconic logo is featured on a variety of items from T-Shirts, Onesies, Hoodies and Joggers. Avocado lovers are also able to get their hands on an avocado lined jean jacket. Chipotle took a different approach with their merchandise and made it more subtle for everyday wear. From solid colours and simple designs, it is quite the contrast to McDonald’s Big Mac and Fries pyjamas.


Branded swag is here to stay and will continue to increase in popularity in the coming years. Even if fast food companies’ ultimate goal is not to start a line of branded merchandise, it is an interesting marketing tactic, to say the least.


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):


Q. Which promotional items are used by fast food companies?


A. Fast food companies have a variety of options of promotional items to choose from. Tim Hortons, Popeye’s, Cheetos, McDonald’s, among many others have all come out with apparel lines recently. Branded shirts and accessories are also a popular choice.


Q. How McDonald's is using branded swag strategy?


A. McDonald’s in the US launched a brand of merchandise with proceeds going towards their Ronald McDonald House Charity. These items include but are not limited to, a Happy Meal Cross-Body Bag, World Famous Fries Pattern Socks, Big Mac Camo Duffle Bag and Golden Arches Stainless Steel Tumbler.