Scented Candles From KFC, IKEA And More Prove The Power Of Home Fragrance

Bizarrely scented candles are getting attention and helping brands stand out. For many companies, these 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 scented 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 make great promotional items because they provide an interactive experience with a giveaway that engages the senses through clever design and packaging/gift box (sight), interesting textures (touch) and, of course, appealing scents.



Scented Candles As A Conversation Starter


In August, Chipotle revealed its lemonade-scented “Water” Cup candle. This cheeky custom 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 promotional 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.”



Wax Candles As A Wellness Aid 

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 jar candle paired with a personal care item like lotion, grew 22%.


The sense of smell is very powerful. Scented candles have been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and enhance mood. Seeking comfort and wellness, consumers are buying aromatherapy wax candles with scents like lemon to improve mood or vanilla to increase happiness. Popular scents, many based on essential oils, include lavender, citrus, vanilla, ocean/sea breeze, lemon verbena, pumpkin spice, holiday pine, mint, and coffee or chocolate. 


The National Candle Association says candle buyers view wax candles as appropriate gifts 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%). But candles can be used all season long as promotional products, especially at indoor events or venues, real estate open houses, home tours, restaurants, event venues, office spaces, hotel lobbies, doctors’ offices, etc.


Light up your marketing efforts with one of these promotional candles:

Matte Black Soy Candle

Add your logo to this rich, matte black seven-ounce soy candle. Each hand-poured tumbler candle contains a clean-burning, eco-friendly cotton wick, and the glass jar is topped with a matte black lid, which can also be decorated.

Hand-Cast Candle Holder

Hand-cast in onyx, marble or granite, this decorative candle holder makes a great candle gift. The custom candle is decorated with a full-color or etched with one-color fill and includes a tea light candle tin with a three-hour burn time. Each piece is made in the USA.

Woodwick Candle

The ellipse-shaped Woodwick candle creates a wider opening for a fully melted wax pool within its glass jar to produce 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.

Candle Gift Set

And an unboxing experience for greater impact with this full-color gift set, which comes with a Himalayan tumbler and a soy candle in a glass jar with a bamboo lid. The set comes in a custom mail-ready gift box stuffed with crinkle paper.