Did McDonald’s Win the Outrageous Fast-Food Candle Games?

The already sold-out candle set has had plenty of competition.

February 24, 2020

McDonald’s just dropped a candle set featuring six scented candles that smell — collectively — like a Quarter Pounder.

Each of the custom-scented candles comes in a glass container and smells like a different Quarter Pounder ingredient: Bun, Ketchup, Pickle, Cheese, Onion and “100% Fresh Beef.” And while you may yearn to burn each of the candles individually and fill your home solely with the scent of burning ketchup or cheese, the product page on the Golden Arches Unltd. site where McDonald’s has made them available as part of its new Quarter Pounder Fan Club merch drop (along with Quarter Pounder lockets, mittens, pins, T-shirts, calendars and stickers) suggests you burn all six of the weirdly fragrant soy-wax-blend votives together “for maximum deliciousness.”

For those wondering “Why a Quarter Pounder scented candle pack?” The McDonald’s PR department has an answer: “Because there’s no better smell than 100% pure North American fresh beef and a perfect combination of toppings.”

Alas, there is one more thing you’ll need to drop: your expectations… because — sniff-sniff — the candles, originally available only in limited quantity, have already sold out.

So has McDonald’s just won the outrageous fast-food candle war? Well, it’s not as if they haven’t had competition! Remember these contenders?

White Castle Slider Candle

Starting in May 2010 and for years thereafter, around the holidays, White Castle has made available a limited quantity of “steam-grilled-on-a-bed-of-onions Original Slider-scented candles.” Sales of the candles, which come in a ceramic container made to resemble White Castle’s cardboard burger packaging, have raised money to support Autism Speaks. “The mouth-watering flavor of White Castle’s Original Slider can only be matched by its distinct aroma,” White Castle declared in a 2014 press release announcing the onion-and-burger-scented candle’s return that year.

KFC Fried Chicken Candle

In December 2016, KFC New Zealand offered lucky contest winners a candle that released the aroma of KFC fried chicken and came in a glass container imprinted with Colonel Sanders’ face; winners were chosen from amongst those who submitted ideas for KFC merch on Instagram.

KFC Gravy Scented Candle

In January 2019, KFC Great Britain launched a sweepstakes offering residents of the U.K. and Ireland a shot at winning a candle that smelled like KFC gravy. “Nothing beats the sweet, soulful aroma of KFC gravy,” KFC said on its website, adding that gravy-smelling candle would “fill your home with Finger Lickin’ good vibes.”

Dunkin’ Coffee and Donut Candles

In November 2019, Dunkin’ partnered with Homesick fragrance and lifestyle brand to bring the world limited-edition candles created to smell like three of Dunkin’s most popular items Original Blend Coffee, Peppermint Mocha Flavored Coffee and Old Fashioned Donuts. The coconut wax blend candles were packaged in Dunkin’s trademark pink and orange colors.

Qdoba Queso Candle

In December 2019, just in time for holiday gift giving, the fast-casual Mexican food chain released a candle that came in a tin and supposedly smelled like its three-cheese creamy queso dip.

Your move, Burger King, Pizza Hut et al.!

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