Food & Pizza Brands Launch Special Promotions for Upcoming Solar Eclipse

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As a rare total solar eclipse approaches on April 8, covering parts of Mexico, the United States, and Canada in darkness, various food and beverage companies are seizing the opportunity for unique marketing campaigns. Pizza Hut, Krispy Kreme, Frito-Lay, Smoothie King, and Burger King are offering special promotions, while MoonPie has launched a limited-edition “Solar Eclipse Survival Kit.” These brands are using the celestial event to attract customers with themed products, emphasizing the potential of such phenomena for short-term marketing success but cautioning about the relevance for long-term brand strategy.

Eclipsing the Market with Themed Treats

Pizza Hut is celebrating the solar eclipse with a “Total Eclipse of the Hut” deal, providing any large-sized pizza for just $12. Meanwhile, Krispy Kreme is introducing a “Total Solar Eclipse Doughnut,” featuring black chocolate icing, silver sprinkles, buttercream with Oreo pieces, and an Oreo cookie center. This limited-time offering aims to replicate the success of their 2017 eclipse-themed doughnut.

Frito-Lay’s SunChips are unveiling a new flavor available only during the eclipse’s totality, emphasizing the novelty of the event. Smoothie King and Burger King are not far behind, with their own eclipse-themed promotions, ensuring food lovers have plenty of options to celebrate the celestial spectacle.

MoonPie’s Stellar Strategy

MoonPie, with its fitting celestial name, is fully embracing the eclipse with “Solar Eclipse Survival Kits” available in select stores. These kits feature mini-sized MoonPies in a special all-black box, available in chocolate, vanilla, or banana flavors. This initiative showcases how MoonPie is leveraging the eclipse to generate excitement and draw attention to their brand, a strategy they overlooked during the last solar eclipse seven years ago.

Tory Johnston, vice president of sales and marketing at Chattanooga Bakery, Inc., expresses the company’s enthusiasm for the event, highlighting MoonPie’s unique position to capitalize on the solar eclipse. With a century-old legacy and a production rate of a million MoonPies daily, the company is keen on making the most of this celestial event.

Marketing Beyond the Eclipse

Koen Pauwels, a distinguished marketing professor, notes the solar eclipse’s potential for brands to engage with their audience. While the event offers a timely platform for promotions, he advises that such strategies are most effective for brands with a natural tie-in to the theme. For others, the impact may be fleeting, emphasizing the importance of aligning marketing campaigns with long-term brand relevance.

As millions prepare to witness the solar eclipse, brands across the food and beverage industry are demonstrating the power of thematic marketing. Whether offering special deals, limited-time flavors, or innovative products, these companies are tapping into the collective excitement of a rare astronomical event to enhance customer engagement and drive sales.

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