Bizarre-smelling candles are getting attention and helping brands stand out. For companies, candles are a way to prolong the brand experience by inviting memorable scents home.
There’s McDonald’s six-piece candle set that smells like the ingredients of a Quarter Pounder burger, Dairy Queen’s blizzard-scented seasonal line that sold out in an hour and KFC’s gravy candle. Even IKEA released a candle inspired by its iconic store meatballs. Texas Roadhouse is the most recent brand to turn familiar flavors into scents with its Honey Cinnamon Butter candles.
“Candles are great promotional products because they add to the ambiance of an event, and it sparks a conversation through creative boxing or labeling,” says Raziel Arcega, MAS, owner of California-based distributor LNR Promotions. “Most of all, it touches our senses through visual packaging, olfactory (smell) and touch. It brings about a sense of feeling – of being loved, welcomed, inspired and motivated.”
In August, Chipotle revealed its lemonade-scented “Water” Cup candle. This cheeky candle went viral on social media, poking fun at patrons who ‘accidentally’ fill their water cups with lemonade. Ironically, each candle purchase includes a unique promo code for a free lemonade at Chipotle.
This limited-edition soy candle has already sold out, but Ebay resellers are offering the fan-inspired product. Chipotle’s candle is a tribute to customers, almost thanking patrons for stealing their lemonade or at least talking about it on social media.
In a statement, Chris Brandt, Chipotle’s chief marketing officer, says, “Social [media] is the premier destination for us to listen to and engage with our superfans. When they see these lighthearted tributes to social chatter and fan behavior, they feel even more connected to Chipotle.”
Since the pandemic, home scent products like candles, diffusers and incense have become comfort essentials. According to the NPD group, home scent sales grew 13% and sales of home scent gift sets, such as a candle paired with a lotion, grew 22%.
The sense of smell is very powerful. Scented candles have been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and enhance mood. Seeking comfort, consumers are buying more candles with scents like lemon to improve mood or vanilla to increase happiness.
“The most popular scents are lemon, lavender, citrus, vanilla, ocean/sea breeze, pumpkin spice, holiday pine, and even coffee or chocolate,” says Arcega.
The National Candle Association says candle buyers view candles as an appropriate gift for the holidays (76%), as a housewarming gift (74%), a hostess/dinner party gift (66%), a thank you (61%) and as adult birthday gifts (58%). Arcega says, “However, candles can be used all season long as promo products, especially at indoor events or venues, real estate open houses, home tours, restaurants, event venues, office spaces, hotel lobbies and doctors’ offices, etc.”
Help your clients’ transform a room with one of these brandable candles.
This rich, matte black seven-ounce candle is decorated with your client’s logo, then hand-poured with scented soy-blend wax. Each candle contains a clean-burning, eco-friendly cotton wick. Each glass is topped with a matte black lid, which can be imprinted.
Hand-cast in onyx, marble or granite, this decorative candle holder makes for the perfect gift. The piece is decorated with a full-color or etched with one-color fill and includes a tea light candle with a three-hour burn time. Each piece is made in the USA.
The ellipse-shaped Woodwick candle creates a wider opening for a fully melted wax pool that produces a more consistent fragrance experience. The premium paraffin and soy waxes are blended with highly concentrated fragrances to produce a beautiful burn with no messy residue. The exclusive, patented wooden wick creates a long, dancing flame for fireplace-like ambiance.
This full-color gift set comes with a Himalayan tumbler and a bamboo soy candle. The gift comes in a custom mailer box stuffed with crinkle paper.