Are Blinged-Out Foods Becoming A Marketing Trend?

Recently, Hidden Valley announced it had created a $35,000 ranch bottle encrusted with diamonds, sapphires, and 18 carat white gold in honor of the upcoming royal wedding and National Ranch Day, which falls tomorrow, March 10. According to the announcement, Hidden Valley hopes to send the bottle, which was designed by an unnamed "A-list celebrity jeweler," overseas since the ranch brand is not available there. However, one Hidden Valley fan in the U.S. will also receive the absurdly luxurious present. The company had a second equally-lavish ranch bottle made, and that one will be given away to a lucky winner. For a chance to win the bottle, Hidden Valley is encouraging fans to retweet the social media post about the contest.
Though the bottle is quite pretty, at first it seemed like a fairly odd item for a food company to be giving away. However, after we read the announcement, it occurred to us that gold and diamond-encrusted food items are becoming something of a trend.
Just last month, for instance, McDonald's pulled a similar stunt in honor of Valentine's Day and the introduction of Grand Big Mac and Mac Jr. The fast food chain created a contest in which customers could enter to win what it called the "Bling Mac." The 18-karat-gold, stackable ring featured seven tiers of diamonds, tsavorites, and orange sapphires, and was designed by famous fine jeweler Nadine Ghosn.
McDonald's wasn't the first to come out with a blinged-out, food-shaped ring. Almost exactly one year before, Domino's U.K. had its own Valentine's Day ring promotion. Customers who entered the "Valendine-in with Domino's" contest were eligible to win a 22-carat-gold diamond-encrusted pizza-shaped engagement ring.
The $35,000 ranch bottle isn't even the only instance of Hidden Valley going glam. In March of 2017, the brand released a number of collector's items including a bejeweled ranch bottle. Though it didn't feature any real diamonds, the rhinestones did mark the price tag up to $50, which is a lot more than your average salad dressing.
When we look at all these items together, it's a whole lot of bling, but what we really want to know is: What's driving this trend? We asked social media marketing expert and author Peg Fitzpatrick what she thought. "Brands like McDonald's and Hidden Valley Ranch are looking to create those viral moments that create tons of social media impressions," she told Refinery29
Fitzpatrick also explained that these over-the-top campaigns are about showing super-fans some love. "America is obsessed with Ranch so this is pretty funny," Fitzpatrick said. If you're infatuated with a certain brand or product, there's an appeal to being able to show off your own diamond-encrusted version of it — especially if it's something as unassuming as a slice of pizza, a burger, or a bottle of ranch.