If you’ve read The Takeout for any amount of time, you know we love a good brand pivot. And this year has been a veritable ballet of corporations twirling, leaping, and plié-ing to accommodate 2020’s new normal. Take Hefty, for example: a big piece of its business is selling plastic party cups. For large gatherings. Ones that are typically indoors. So, how does a brand like that show its support for social distancing measures? By creating an all-new product that encourages you to keep your ass outside when you see your friends. Behold, the Hefty Party Cup Parka and Mitten Koozie.
Lots of companies have been known to release ugly sweaters this time of year, and this parka takes its cues from that aesthetic, featuring three different loud patterns that call to mind bargain barrel rolls of holiday wrapping paper. To add to the loudness, there is a literal bluetooth speaker sewn into the parka, as well as a string of holiday lights—please take this moment, as I am, to picture yourself and a group of friends (such as the ones in the photo above) all wearing these parkas in an outdoor setting, your blinking lights and festive Christmas carols all competing with one another as you casually make conversation above the din. It’s a good metaphor for 2020: in spite of everything, we adapt.
The parkas have fold-down trays to hold drink cups and snack bowls while you stand at a safe distance from one another, but if it’s cold enough outside that you barely want to expose your hand to the elements, Hefty has also introduced a Mitten Koozie that looks like an outstretched hand holding your beverage. That way you can keep your real hand gloved and warm inside your coat sleeve.
The parka and the koozie will be available starting Friday, November 20 at www.heftypartycupparka.com. They’ll only cost $2.99—the typical price for a pack of party cups—so they probably won’t last long. The novelty factor is pretty undeniable, and we must award Hefty a gold star for thinking of ways to turn its typically not-at-all-socially-distant product into a safe and responsible one as we head into the winter months.