Panera Has Made a Bread Bowl Glove Because Panera Thinks It’s Still 2020

Panera has developed a novel way of insulating hands from chilly iced coffee.
Panera has developed a novel way of insulating hands from chilly iced coffee. / Courtesy of Panera Bread

Fast food and fast-casual restaurant chains have come a long way from advertising gimmicks of the 1980s, like the McDonald’s lounge singer Mac Tonight or Clara Peller of the “Where’s the Beef?” Wendy’s catchphrase. To help their menus stand out, chains now have to produce tangible products that are irreverent, like the video game system purportedly coming from KFC that doubles as a chicken warmer.

Not to be outdone, Panera Bread has announced a promotion that will see 450 lucky fans receive a hand warmer shaped like one of their bread bowls.

The giveaway is intended to promote Panera’s line of iced coffees during the winter months, the idea being that you can cradle a cold drink without exposing your hands to frigid temperatures. The hand warmer, officially known as the Iced & Toasty Bread Bowl Glove, is not made of actual bread, though someone passing you on the street may be fooled by the doughy optical illusion.

The marketing idea came from public relations firm Alison Brod Marketing + Communications, while the 500 Degrees company manufactured the gluten-free mitten. The stunt is looking to raise awareness of Panera’s MyPanera+ unlimited coffee subscription, which buys you a bottomless cup at Panera locations for $8.99 a month.

If you’d like a chance to get one of the warmers, you can sign up at Panera’s website. The offer is good through January 29.

[h/t Thrillist]