Once somewhat unusual, partnerships between fast-food chains and snack food producers have been popping up at every corner in 2022.
Since the start of the spring alone, we saw Krispy Kreme (DNUT) – Get Krispy Kreme, Inc. Report and General Mills GIS’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Pepsi (PEP) – Get PepsiCo, Inc. Report-flavored pizza and a Buffalo Wild Wings BWLD sauce made from Frito-Lay’s Doritos.
Chips, in particular, pair beautifully with other crispy, crunchy and greasy things.
The snack/junk food phenomenon began when in 2012 Yum! Brands YUM-owned Taco Bell started a craze with the Doritos Locos Tacos.
The Newest Collaboration Is Sweet Instead Of Salty
The latest chain to look to turn to the snack food aisle for inspiration is Inspire Brands INSP-owned Sonic.
The drive-thru chain that started out of Oklahoma City launched a slush with Mondelez (MDLZ) – Get Mondelez International, Inc. Class A Report‘s Sour Patch Kids.
Originally called the Mars Men when they came onto the scene in the 1970s, the gummies are coated with a citric acid-infused sugar meant to make the candies “sour then sweet.”
Called the Sour Patch Kids Slush Float, the sweet treat is a blend of vanilla ice cream and Sonic’s watermelon slush.
The topping is the Sour Patch Kids candies most know and love.
The slush starts at $2.99 and comes in mimi, small, medium and large sizes.
Scroll to Continue
It will be available at Sonic stores from May 30 to July 31 or until supplies last.
In chains’ usual attempt to get people to use it, those who download the Sonic app will be able to order the slush a week earlier from May 23.
“Our Sonic fans always look forward to our summer Slush Float offerings, and this year we’re once again delivering a refreshing, craveable treat that provides an exciting new twist by incorporating the iconic Sour Patch Kids candy,” Mackenzie Gibson, vice president of culinary and menu innovation at Sonic, said in a statement.
“Sour Patch Kids uniquely combines sour and sweet for a satisfying candy experience, and Sonic is taking the fun further by mixing that same flavor experience with two of our summer favorites.”
Would You Try It?
Each summer, Sonic releases a series of different slush flavors.
Cherry and Limeade are on its permanent menu, while it’s also had Red Bull and Powerade flavors as part of partnerships.
Partnerships with a recognizable candy or drink brand can be a double-whammy for both marketing and sales since those who love one may want to try the other.
Fans of the slush will be curious about the new flavor while die-hard Sour Patch Kids lovers will come specifically to Sonic for the slush.
Sometimes, the collaboration takes on a life of its own and becomes a cult classic.
That can happen both with a dish — the Doritos Locos Tacos is still a favorite all these years later — or a flavor.
Frito-Lay’s popular Flamin’ Hot Cheetos flavor has now appeared in Burger King’s Flamin’ Hot Mac N’ Cheetos and Taco Bell Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos and the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch – Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch.
“These are part of a long tradition of companies creating new, slightly outrageous, fast food and snack food combinations – more cheese, more meat, more layers, adding sauces, [or] Cheetos, for crunch and a pop of flavor,” food historian Ashley Rose Young told the BBC in 2019.