Fast Food Summer Merch Features Dueling Pool Floats
Fast food merch is here to stay, and brands keep coming up with new items to keep fans wanting more. This summer, Sonic and McDonald’s have each added a new summer berry drink to their menus – and both are featuring a pool float prominently in their merch stores.
Keeping cool and comfy is a key theme for Sonic’s “summer swag” collection. Launched June 1, the collection includes a slush tee, a Sonic-branded soft cooler, a cooling towel that literally says “Stay Cool” with dozens of O’s and a “cabana set” that looks like short pajamas.
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Interestingly, none of the items directly matches Sonic’s new menu item, the Strawberry Shortcake Snowball Slush Float, but a 6-foot inflatable cherry limeade pool float celebrates the drive-in chain’s most famous beverage. There’s also a tumbler that comes with stickers, and it can hold limeade, Ocean Water or whatever drink your heart desires – as well as capitalize on the trend of people using stickers to personalize their items with added flair.
The company’s online shop includes about three dozen items overall, from tees and sweatshirts to socks and slippers to tater tot earrings and a “My Slush Mood” color-changing ring. Unlike many of its fast-food competitors, Sonic offers pet costumes and toys in The Wag Shop – and all but one of these items are currently sold out.
GenXers might have fond memories of childhood birthday parties at McDonald’s back in the ’70s and ’80s. Starting June 12, the behemoth burger chain is celebrating – 52 years?! – of Grimace, the purple, vaguely triangular member of its mascot squad, with a Grimace’s Birthday merch collection, which includes a giant purple pool float that made its debut as a limited giveaway last summer, as well as a meal combo that includes a new berry-flavored purple shake.
Aside from the pool float, Grimace-themed items include a T-shirt, bucket hat, beanie and socks, as well as other items featuring the entire “McDonaldland” cast of characters. The Golden Arches Unlimited online shop also features merch celebrating McDonald’s fries (another pool float, socks and more), its seasonal favorite Shamrock Shake and various nicknames for the restaurant. Fans of the crispy chicken sandwich can order one of the shop’s more unusual items: a limited-edition area rug in crispy, spicy or spicy deluxe.
In other fast food merch news, Chick-fil-A’s “sauce collection” sold out almost as quickly as its 2022 holiday drop. No word yet on the chicken chain’s future plans, but its limited-edition, get-’em-while-they-last sales strategy keeps the sizzle going.