McDonald's BTS meal
Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
  • McDonald's BTS meal has been hugely successful so far.
  • The fast-food chain introduced two new merch BTS-branded merch collections.
  • Celebrity partnerships have been strategic promotions for chains this year.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

McDonald's collaboration with Korean band BTS has been a huge success, and now the chain is releasing two new merch lines.

McDonald's partnered with the iconic group on a signature promotion in 49 countries that launched on May 26 in the US. Restaurant visits shot up following the launch to the highest numbers of 2021 so far, a report from Gordon Haskett Research Advisors found.

In response, McDonald's announced two new collections: The Saucy Collection, featuring drawings from BTS members, and The Melting Collection, inspired by the band's hit song "Butter."

McDonald's BTS Butter merch collection top
McDonald's collaborated with BTS on the Butter merch collection.

The collections include t-shirts, tote bags, key rings, and other clothes and accessories.

McDonald's BTS Butter merch collection tote
McDonald's collaborated with BTS on the Butter merch collection.

Fans can buy the merch, which went on sale beginning on June 16, through the Korean shopping app Weverse. The full collections can be seen here.

BTS x McDonald's merch collab Saucy collection tote
BTS and McDonald's tote.

Other memorabilia from the collaboration has already been in huge demand. Fans are reselling BTS-branded paper bags, cups, and sauces on eBay for multiple times the costs of the original orders, Palmer Haasch reported for Insider.

Collaborating with young artists and creators became huge for fast-food chains in 2020, and is continuing strong in 2021. The deals helped brands connect with Gen Z customers and often ended up on social media and as TikTok trends.

The Travis Scott meal last fall was so popular that some locations ran out of Quarter Pounder ingredients. It was also enriching for Scott personally, as he netted at least $20 million from the deal, according to Forbes.

The chain also sold a J Balvin meal last October with a Big Mac, fries, and an Oreo McFlurry, though the accompanying merch collection was later canceled.

Read more: Shake Shack founder's VC fund just invested in this plant-based milk brand that's aiming to be the 'Nestle for millenials'

Like the two other celebrity collaborations, the BTS meal is made up of existing menu items to draw in customers (though the sauces are a new addition in the US), a move that analysts have praised. With a celebrity endorsement, brands can harness the energy and excitement of a new product without actually adding menu items.

McDonald's customers in the US can order a BTS meal: a 10-piece McNuggets, medium fries, a medium Coke, and sweet chili and Cajun sauces inspired by menu items in McDonald's South Korea through June 20.

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