Megan Thee Stallion is partnering with Popeyes to release “Hottie Sauce,” a bright red condiment made of Aleppo pepper, honey, and cider vinegar.
The rapper and fast food joint will also drop a collection of merchandise including shirts, bikinis, and hats. There’s no word yet on what these items will look like, but we can only assume they’re fried chicken-themed.
Meg’s Popeyes deal proves that celebrity fast food isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s a phenomenon that’s likely to intensify, given its profitability.
In 2020, Travis Scott and McDonald’s launched a special meal, the Cactus Jack, comprised of his favorite menu items: a quarter pounder, Sprite, and fries with barbecue sauce. Earning Scott an estimated $20 million, the deal proved that co-branded burgers and fries make big money.
Other fast food institutions including Taco Bell and Burger King followed suit, launching team-ups with Lil Nas X and Lil Huddy, respectively.
As Jon Moy wrote for this site, fast food has morphed into institution governed by the same scarcity model that hype thrives on.
Streetwear-heads line up for a chance to cop the latest Supreme drop before it sells out. Travis Scott fans flocked to McDonald’s for the Cactus Jack meal, which was offered for a limited period of four weeks. The meal was so popular, it caused burger shortages at some locations.
Inherent in every celebrity-endorsed fast food meal is an enticing play between high and low, exclusivity and accessibility. Burgers and fries, staples that have long served as emblems of the American working class, are transformed into aspirational fare, something to be flaunted on social media.
It’s a somewhat vulgar dichotomy that reflects the transformation of the hoodie — a politically charged garment — from a utilitarian staple made for warehouse workers to a favorite among New York’s ’90s hip-hop scene and later, to fodder for luxury brands.
Travis Scott’s meal was a fun novelty when it launched. In fact, it marked the first time McDonald’s featured a celebrity name on its menu since 1992, when Michael Jordan co-signed the quarter pounder.
Saweetie’s meal released just one year after Scott’s. By then, celebrities posing next to french fries wasn’t exactly a sight for sore eyes.
Fast food hype is only growing, but when will it burn out?