Last week, Bernie Sanders’ mittens became an internet sensation. And now, Panera has its own muff for chilly fingers. The chain has released what might be the most on-brand way for iced coffee drinkers to hold their beverages without their hands getting frosty: a limited-edition glove that looks like its bread bowls.
According to survey data released by the chain, 78% of Americans claim cold weather doesn’t keep them from drinking iced coffee. So think of Panera’s Iced & Toasty Bread Bowl Glove as a fashionable(?) way to hold a cup. It is an oversized glove, not a warming device. After all, the point is to keep the iced coffee chilly while blocking some of that chill from one’s hands.
If nothing else, it’s a conversation starter. And oversized mittens are having a moment after Senator Sanders inauguration day outfit, including a special set of mittens knitted by a Vermont teacher, became the subject of countless memes. And even tattoos.
Panera, which is promoting its $8.99 monthly coffee subscription service, plans to give away 450 of is specialty gloves beginning Jan. 26 at icedandtoasty.com. Perhaps Panera should send one to Senator Sanders.
The iced coffee cup nestled into the fake bread bowl does raise the question, would anyone pour coffee into a bread bowl? Let’s hope not. Save the real bowls for some soup. Or perhaps for the broccoli cheddar mac & cheese, which Michael Bolton sang about in an online commercial last year.
The concept and ideation come from Alison Brod Marketing + Communications, which is now working with Panera. ABMC adds that 500 Degrees did production, Fooji is running the contest site and Vayner is behind social and photography.
Panera is not the first chain to devise a ridiculous food-themed creation. Last year saw the birth of Arby's turkey nap hat as well as Pizza Hut and Gravity Blanket's 15-pound Original Pan Weighted Blanket that looks like a giant pie.