The Latest In Fast-Casual Merch: Sweetgreen Salad Mouse Pads and More Streetwear Style
The jump from fast-casual restaurant to fast-casual merchandise brand is a common move these days. Look at Chipotle or Panera. Now, Sweetgreen is joining its competitors by not only introducing merchandise with the same streetwear-drop style as the others, but roping it into a new loyalty program to incentivize customers to join.
The restaurant's Sweetpass membership has two tiers – one free and one paid. Both versions allow customers to access new menu items, accumulate points, and access merchandise that's exclusive to members. But, the ones who pay that $10 a month for the premium version get "premier access" to merchandise and "exclusive Sweetgreen experiences."
The branded merchandise is now up on a new site called the Sweetgreen Market. It's pretty much what you'd expect: a lot of items that feature very minimal logo placement to match the current streetwear logo placement of today. T-shirts and hoodies in brown and green hues called "Dirt" and "Kale," respectively, give off that earthy and natural vibe that the brand is trying to achieve.
There are some more decoration-heavy items, though, like vintage-looking T-shirts with field guide illustrations of mushrooms relating to the "Shroomami" menu item, listing its ingredients.
There's also a coffee mug featuring a little guy eating a salad with the words "Professional Salad Eater" printed on it.
The best items might be the mousepads, though. Bet you didn't think we were going to mention mouse pads, huh?
There are three mouse pads meant to look like you're staring down at three of Sweetgreen's most popular hexagonal bowls: the Kale Caesar, the Harvest Bowl, and the Shroomami. It's pretty much a constant reminder of what you're craving while you work, guaranteeing even the most staunch meal prepper will want to order in every now and then.
Similarly, Panera just released even more merchandise following its faux-high-fashion purse meant to carry a sandwich.
To celebrate "MyPanera Week" for MyPanera loyalty program members, the restaurant just dropped a line of sweatpants, sweatshirts, dog bandanas, and bags, according to National Restaurant News.
With other brands like Chipotle continually pushing out merchandise in addition to actual food, it's clear that every brand, whether they sell food or anything else, needs to double as a lifestyle brand. Being that "lifestyle" is such a catch-all phrase, it really means that just about any of a distributor's clients can fit into that niche. It's just a matter of looking at what buyers want in retail, tapping into those trends, creating demand and an incentive to buy the core product offered by the business, and capturing the brand's overall aesthetic and story.
It's much easier said than done, but if it works, you have a loyal customer base willing to sport your customers' logos as if they were a streetwear brand with a hyped-up reputation.
Brendan Menapace is the senior digital editor for Promo Marketing. While writing and editing stories come naturally to him, writing his own bio does not.