- PepsiCo Frito-Lay snack brand Cheetos will "bring the 'Cheetos Look' to life" via a new partnership with fashion retailer Forever 21, according to information shared with Marketing Dive. Starting June 6, a new limited-edition apparel collection is available from the chain that includes swimsuits, sweatshirts, T-shirts, dresses and other gear printed with images, colors and logos connected to Cheetos Crunchy and Cheetos Flamin' Hot snacks.
- Designed for men and women, the collection is available online and at Forever 21 stores across the U.S., with prices ranging from $5 to $30 per item.
- Frito-Lay says that Cheetos is about more than snacks, and that it's become "a lifestyle brand among our fans."
Cheetos' collaboration with Forever 21 is the latest example of how some brands are looking to turn fan enthusiasm into a lifestyle statement. Cheetos has been a leading example of this trend, having previously teamed with Betabrand for a line of Easter clothing and, in 2016, having launched a luxury holiday catalog. The Forever 21 partnership is a significantly more mainstream approach that offers a wide range of items at accessible price points from a retailer with more than 815 stores in the U.S. and worldwide.
For legacy retailers like Forever 21, such capsule collections are a way to drive excitement in stores and possibly introduce their brand to new consumers at a time when people are more frequently shopping online and many mall-based retailers are struggling financially. This isn't the first time the retail chain has looked to food brands to drive interest with shoppers. In September 2017, Forever 21 similarly partnered with Taco Bell to create "food fashion." That effort resulted in tops, bodysuits, sweatshirts and jackets that were printed with related imagery. The campaign drew on the popularity of taco designs in a variety of clothes and accessories, as noted in a Wall Street Journal story from August 2017.
Food brands clearly see an opportunity to extend their reach with clothing for their most loyal fans. KFC set up an e-commerce shop in the summer of 2017 with T-shirts and sweatshirts branded with the likeness of its mascot Colonel Sanders. In July of that year, McDonald's released loungewear that promoted its McDelivery service.