- KFC brought back its fried chicken-scented 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog, according to a press release provided to Marketing Dive.
- The logs, made from recycled materials via a partnership with Enviro-Log, will be available for $18.99 exclusively at Walmart.com with free two-day shipping.
- As part of the promotion, KFC is also giving away logs to entrants into its #SecretSanders contest, which was announced last month.
KFC bringing back its Firelogs suggests that the promotion was popular enough in 2018 to justify a re-run. When the logs were offered for the first time last year, they sold out in just three hours, according to KFC. Some of the brand's other limited-time offerings, like its recent "seasoned tickets" and Funko Pop figure, have also sold out quickly in a show of consumer demand for these products.
The QSR chain has frequently incorporated branded merchandise into its marketing efforts, especially around the holidays. The Firelogs follow the brand's release last month of limited-edition holiday buckets that, for the first time, featured original illustrations. In 2017, KFC added quirky holiday merchandise to its KFC Ltd. e-commerce site, including fried chicken-themed pillows, apparel and wrapping paper, which followed up on offerings of edible nail polish and chicken-scented sunscreen years ago.
Teaming with Walmart.com to sell the Firelogs potentially opens the item to a larger customer base than when it was sold via a branded microsite. Similarly, Oreo last year sold its playable turntable on Amazon. These efforts allow brands to tap into the e-commerce expertise and shipping capabilities of major retailers.
When branded merchandise is sold directly to the consumer, such products extend brands' relationship with consumers and helps them to acquire new customer data. McDonald's this week launched its first permanent e-commerce store with branded merchandise that isn't available elsewhere, such as Happy Meal Christmas tree ornaments. Similarly, Dunkin' last month unveiled its first online shop specially for the holidays.
These marketing efforts follow other brands' increased use of novel holiday products and e-commerce tactics to generate word-of-mouth buzz and social media chatter. Busch beer last year unveiled a Busch button that, when pushed, said the brand's name in soothing way, doubling as a device to overcome uncomfortable holiday conversations.