Last week, Bernie Sanders’ mittens went viral. Here’s how Panera Bread decided to tap into the toasty trend.
Despite below-freezing temperatures, 78% of consumers continue to sip iced drinks. That, plus Sander’s famous smittens in mind, Panera Bread has introduced the bread muff, which is exactly what it sounds like and serves to heat up the hands of cold souls still clinging to their iced coffee craving in the dead of winter. The restaraunt, which is promoting its own monthly coffee subscription service, plans to give away 450 of the avant-garde gloves beginning January 26 at icedandtoasty.com in an homage to the cold-drink-cozy-fingers combo that seems to be just the ticket for many Americans. The invention is not, luckily, made of a real bread bowl, but just made to look like one. The bread bowl accessory also serves as a testament to Panera’s reputation as bread experts and cozy curateurs.
In the midst of the pandemic and the winter season, bleak news is abundant, so it makes sense that Panera would want to captivate listless consumers with something both cozy and whimsical. The brand has enjoyed a cozy spot in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants for the past few years, so the time might be right to test out a playful, yet practical ploy such as this to lift consumer spirits and possibly cause a stir on TikTok, which people tend to turn to to share their one-off discoveries.