Reporter's Notebook
Restaurant brands come bearing gifted packaging

Restaurant brands come bearing gifted packaging

Ron RugglessThis post is part of the Reporter's Notebook blog.

Restaurant containers have taken several twists and turns this holiday season. But when it comes to keepsake potential, KFC is offering holiday packaging that’s likely to be on some bucket lists.

The Louisville, Ky.-based division of Yum! Brands Inc. this holiday season has rolled out its first holiday-themed container, joining such seasonal packaging forces with the coffee purveyors Starbucks Corp. and Dunkin’ Donuts.

The KFC Holiday Bucket is a limited-time serving container for the $20 Family Fill special, which the company says will serve a family of four with eight pieces of chicken, a large coleslaw, mashed potatoes and gravy, and biscuits.

KFC's Holiday Bucket offers cut-out tree ornaments printed on the lid. Photos: KFC

While the festive sides of the bucket are red and green, the container’s lid serves as the real prize. It includes four cut-out ornaments for the family tannenbaum. Those include a fried-chicken-leg ornament that would be the envy of any Little Drum-Stick Boy.

While KFC is new to the holiday-specific packaging game, Seattle-based Starbucks has made it a fixture in its coffeehouses since 1997.

Starbucks’ seasonal coffee cups this year became a topic of social-media discussion when the company removed the prior snowflakes and snowmen in favor of a clean red-and-green look. An ensuing “War on Christmas” firestorm was kindled by an Arizona evangelist and even drew comments from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who suggested a boycott.

The company defended its “two-toned ombré design.” Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks’ vice president of design and content, said, “This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

Starbucks' two-toned cup for 2015. Photo: Ron Ruggless

Rival Dunkin’ Donuts, the division of Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin Brands Group Inc., this year offered a cursive “Joy” on the brand’s holiday cups as well as incentivized social-media shares of the container.

Between Nov. 24 and Dec. 5, Dunkin’ Donuts offered prizes to customers posting photos and videos to social-media channels like Instagram. The gifts included 12 JetBlue travel certificates.

The company gathered the social-media posts, harvested through the requisite #DDCoffeeJoy and #Contest hashtags, into a micro-website.

So, overall, this season’s foodservice packaging has been very gifted.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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