In the thick of winter, sipping Panera Iced Coffee just got a bit less chilly. Panera is repurposing its bread bowls — or at least the appearance of its bread bowls — to serve as a hand warmer for iced coffee drinkers on the road.
Iced coffee season is year-round for the majority of coffee drinkers in the United States, according to a new study
Panera’s new “Iced & Toasty Bread Bowl Hand Warmer” is more of a mitten than a hand warmer, designed to keep hands warm when sipping iced coffee. The “bread bowl” has a side pocket to keep hands warm and opens at the top to hold coffee cups.
While the doughy delicacy may appear to be a post-coffee snack, the Iced & Toasty Bread Bowl Hand Warmer is actually a fabric-based mitten made to resemble a bread bowl. In the meantime, anyone who wants a soup in a bread bowl can order one from Panera.
Bread bowls from the sandwich and salad company have also been known to be used for other dishes, such as Mac and Cheese.
The idea for the item originated from a survey it performed, which revealed that despite the cold, 78 percent of Americans intend to consume iced coffee.
Starting Tuesday, customers may enter to win one of Panera’s new Bread Bowl Hand Warmers at icedandtoasty.
The goofy sales strategy is the latest method that coffee shops are marketing iced coffee on their winter menus to meet customer demand.
Last month, Starbucks introduced a new range of cold brew drinks to its menus. In 2020, Panera introduced a $8.99 per month coffee subscription that gives users unlimited java access via their app, with the first three months free for anyone who joins up.
More fast-food restaurants are getting into the coffee business. Burger King started a $5 coffee subscription offer in March 2019, however it was discontinued after a few months.