- Panera Bread is partnering with Ntwrk, a livestreaming mobile shopping platform, to help promote the restaurant chain’s new chicken sandwich, according to information shared with Marketing Dive.
- Rapper T-Pain will host a day of merchandise drops, including a sweatshirt, sweatpants and a pair of luxury headphones branded with Panera’s logo and images of the chicken sandwich. The collection is known as The Deliciously Luxe Drip Kit. The event will also include merchandise from Taschen, Puma, DC and others.
- The activation comes one week after the introduction of the chain’s Unlimited Sip Club, a loyalty program where consumers can pay $10.99 a month for unlimited in-store coffee and fountain drinks, pointing to how the brand is ramping up as pandemic-related restrictions ease.
As COVID-19 restrictions lift and restaurants aim to get diners back in seats, Panera Bread has unveiled several initiatives leveraging mobile to drive its goals, including the Unlimited Sip Club. The latest mobile activation with Ntwrk signals that the brand is playing to younger tastes, while also building on the hype of the brand’s recent menu addition that ties into the "chicken sandwich wars" of recent years.
Millennials seem to have a growing affinity for chicken sandwiches, with up to 43% of millennials reporting a weekly purchase. Panera Bread, a chain known for its mac and cheese bowls and seasonal salads, introduced its sandwich in late April. Unlike competitors such as Popeye’s and Chick-fil-A, Panera’s sandwich is grilled, not fried. In order to stand out amid fierce competition, Panera is working with Ntwrk to promote the release.
Just one Deliciously Luxe Drip Kit will be available, adding an air of exclusivity that could drive excitement, and the winner will be drawn by lottery. The draw is part of a larger event hosted by T-Pain that includes other brands such as Taschen, Puma and DC.
Panera Bread has partnered with T-Pain in a similar manner in the past. In order to promote the Unlimited Sip Club earlier this month, T-Pain and Ntwrk raffled off a 24-karat gold-plated chalice to one winner. The first thousand people to enter the drawing received a free three-month membership to the Unlimited Sip Club, helping to promote the service and gather first-party data on Panera fans.