Megan Thee Stallion is elite. At 26, she’s had two Billboard 100 No. 1 singles, three Grammys, and knees deserving of their very own insurance coverage coverage. This summer time’s “Thot Shit” music video would make our year-end motion pictures record if brief filmés (and my opinion) certified, and she or he’s began sufficient viral dance developments to single-handedly hold the lights on over at TikTok dot-biz. With hits like “Savage,” “WAP,” and “Physique,” she is a younger sensation who doesn’t miss. Sure, Megan Thee Stallion is the Popeyes rooster sandwich of celebrities.
When Popeyes introduced that they have been collaborating with Megan Thee Stallion on a brand new Hottie Sauce and Hottie Meals, it made excellent sense and the hotties rejoiced. Two heavyweights of the American South, beloved of their respective domains, combining forces. And in contrast to some movie star fast-food collaborations that really feel haphazard or tossed off, the announcement included an unprecedented element: Meg would additionally change into a franchise proprietor of 5 Popeyes institutions. That’s dedication. Now she has vested curiosity, as a stakeholder, in guaranteeing that her Popeye’s tie-in is high quality product. I’ll be submitting my software to work the drive-through at Megan’s personal Popeyes shortly wherever which may be (in all probability Texas), however first, I needed to get my claws on this Hottie Sauce.
The advertising rollout for Megan’s Hottie Sauce has been a grasp class in hype and figuring out your model. On Thursday, Popeyes launched a trailer that finds Megan dressed as a Popeyes orange-rhinestone cowgirl who goes on a mission as a result of — gasp! — “Somebody stole your hottie sauce!” An anime Megan then hops on her bronco along with her trusty Frenchie pet 4oe at her aspect and gallops off into the evening. That is what we like to see in our fast-food promoting: a story. It’s tremendous enjoyable and camp and it’s giving Hamburglar.
The following day, Megan launched a Popeyes mukbang video the place she confirmed off her scorching sauce, saying, “It’s giving spicy. It’s giving candy.” That is genius. Only a few actual celebrities (sorry Trisha) have dared enterprise into the mukbang area, but it surely’s the proper showcase for Megan’s humor, persona, and in the end her product.
Megan additionally sidled as much as the famed Scorching Ones desk, and by no means has there been a cleaner promotional idea: Megan’s coming into the hot-sauce market, and the Complicated present’s host Sean Evans is the arbiter of all issues spicy celebby. Unimpressed by the primary handful of sauces, she questioned if Evans was tricking her. “What is that this referred to as? Scorching Ones or Chilly Ones?” She proved she might stand up to over 100,000 Scovilles with out blinking. (Though she did say at the very least one of many scorching sauces past that time wanted to be “unlawful” and its creator “in jail,” she greater than proved she might deal with her warmth.)
Again in August, I sat down with Evans at a spicy curry occasion sponsored, hilariously, by Tums. I figured I might choose his mind on the connection between movie star, meals, and media. “Movie star is that factor that, by definition, is that this unobtainable life-style,” he stated. “However then one thing everybody can relate to is dying on scorching sauce. It takes them off the pedestal to that ordinary human stage. For years, individuals have tried to make that ‘What’s it prefer to have a beer with this particular person?’ present, and I believe by way of scorching sauce, we by accident invented it.” Evans was on to one thing. Perhaps that is what I had been attempting to attain with all this movie star meal chasing: “What’s it prefer to eat mozz sticks in Lil Huddy’s lap?” “What wouldn’t it be like if Shawn Mendes threw his low-carb Chipotle bowl at me?” And now, “What wouldn’t it be like for Megan Thee Stallion to choke me out with scorching sauce?”
So on October 19, when Megan’s Hottie Sauce dropped, I headed down the block to my nearest Popeyes. There are two objects on the menu, a.okay.a. Hottie Meals, that at present include the Hottie Sauce: the rooster sandwich and the model’s new nuggets. After I confirmed as much as the counter, a woman was asking if she might get a Hottie Sauce along with her sandwich. The supervisor informed her no as a result of she didn’t order a Hottie Meal sandwich and restricted portions imply they’ll solely give out Hottie Sauces with Hottie Meals. (One thing one thing smart-sounding joke about provide chain, am I proper?) These things was unique.
Regardless of placing my order in on the app, the situation was pretty crunched, they usually wanted to arrange my Hottie Meals recent, which took roughly 20 minutes. I spent it observing that the vibes on this specific Popeyes have been actually actually cute. The supervisor and employees appeared to get alongside though their kitchen AC was down, they have been very nice to the entire senior citizen clients who got here in, they usually threw in a free pie for my wait. I made off with my loot and giddyupped again house to feast.
This nonetheless life?? Okay I’m actually Caravaggio.
Picture: Rebecca Alter
First off, the packaging on the Hottie sandwich is immediately iconic: A tongue protruding of lips in basic Megan trend, all in pop-art model purple, crimson, and orange. Wanting again at this image proper now, I need to fish this bag out of my rubbish, iron it, and body it for a future Hottie Shrine. In the meantime, the Hottie Sauce packaging referred to as to thoughts the curly bubble font of the McDonald’s Saweetie sauce.
The Rolling Stones might by no means.
Picture: Rebecca Alter
Popping the highest of the Hottie Sauce, you see pleasing deep-red dotted with little chili flecks, fortunately not displaying up fairly as neon because it seemed within the promoting supplies. Popeyes says this new sauce blends Aleppo pepper and Crystal Scorching Sauce (a cayenne-based basic), and also you positively get that peppery hit if you scent it. The style, nevertheless, is overwhelmingly dominated by the sauce’s different elements: cider vinegar and honey. A number of honey. Whereas some bites of these items completed with a scorching notice at the back of the throat, it was much less of a kick and extra of a suggestion of spicy, like how flavored seltzers carry the suggestion of fruit taste. The spice is certainly dominated by the candy. It’s unlucky, particularly as a result of the idea of scorching is so central to Megan’s fandom.
Picture: Rebecca Alter
This letdown on the hotness entrance was actually amplified by the unusual choice to do the Hottie sandwich and Hottie nuggets within the Popeyes common breading, slightly than the genuinely best-in-class spicy breading. I needed the Hottie Meals to slap my tongue and complete total face into subsequent century; gentle is just not a phrase I’d ever affiliate with Megan Thee Stallion … till this.
I appreciated that the Hottie sandwich wasn’t slathered with the sauce, which might have made it too candy to eat; it was a pleasant quantity, particularly in the event you just like the honey and fried-chicken combo. Each time I’ve ever had a Popeyes rooster sandwich, I’ve been impressed anew by the standard; it’s perhaps essentially the most substantial sandwich in all of quick meals, burgers included. I ate it over the course of three meals.
The Popeye’s rooster sandwich, hottified or no, is the perfect deal on Earth.
Picture: Rebecca Alter
Popeyes was good to make use of Hottie Sauce as an excuse to push their new nuggets, which they launched in July. These little fuckers rule. The eight-piece comes with three Hottie Sauces, sufficient to avoid wasting two for later (or to promote on eBay). The shop gave me a 12-piece by mistake. Ordering these nuggets — eight with the sauces for $four.49 — was like placing on the glasses from They Dwell and realizing that each one different nuggets have been mendacity to you. The breading is craggly and crispy, giving your mouth numerous enjoyable texture to play with. It’s additionally like 50 % of the nugget, a creature of its personal. I say this with nice admiration, not as a dig. The seasoning works. The Hottie Sauce settles into all of the grooves and crannies. I additionally dipped one within the gravy and mashed potatoes aspect I bought in lieu of fries out of some misguided concept of faux restraint. I like to recommend this. I put the leftover nuggs out within the workplace and about two-thirds of them bought eaten though they have been chilly. That is spectacular.
Picture: Rebecca Alter
Together with meals, Popeyes x Megan Thee Stallion introduced that Megan could be making a six-figure donation to Houston Random Acts of Kindness. So not solely is that this collab serving cowgirl and businesswoman, it’s giving pillar of the group. Total, this collaboration feels extra thought-out and deliberate than most others we’ve seen, combining the merch and branding of the BTS meal with the precise relationship between artist and firm that we’ve seen with Lil Nas X and Taco Bell … with a video marketing campaign that was made with intention, model, and a voice. The complete anime-inspired marketing campaign video was launched yesterday and encompasses a full-on battle between Meg and her alter ego, Tina Snow. It’s all simply so enjoyable.
.@TheeStallion heating issues up 🔥 Safe your #MegsHottieSauce at the moment pic.twitter.com/Y0Wmu54bwa
— Popeyes (@Popeyes) October 19, 2021
Meg and Popeyes additionally dropped a line of merch yesterday, together with a crop prime and a hoodie that each say “saucy,” a T-shirt with a flaming Popeyes receipt graphic, a bikini, and a canine toy formed like a Popeyes rooster three-piece. I hope in the future to make a pilgrimage to a Stallion-owned Popeyes location. There higher be a present store full of these items, and even-hotter sauces. A street journey for subsequent yr’s Scorching Nug Summer season.