How companies are cashing in on the solar eclipse
It’s the lunar event of the century — and some companies are cashing in.
August 21 will mark the first total solar eclipse that will be visible coast-to-coast from the mainland United States since 1918.
As people prepare for the main event, U.S. businesses — from national chains to mom-and-pop shops — are starting to hawk special eclipse-themed merchandise.
Here are some of the commemorative eclipse products and promotions out there now.
Krispy Kreme’s Chocolate Glazer
Krispy Kreme will sell its first-ever chocolate glazed doughnut during the eclipse.
The donut shop lists participating stores on its website. It will also sell the treats on August 19 and 20 during special hours.
“The solar eclipse is a rare occasion — providing a total sensory experience for viewers across the continental U.S.,” Jackie Woodward, Krispy Kreme’s marketing chief, said in a statement. “Chocolate will have the same effect as we introduce a first-time chocolate glazing of our iconic Original Glazed Doughnut.”
Jackson Hole’s Eclipse-themed booze and coffee
The eclipse will be in perfect view for anyone in the Jackson Hole valley area of western Wyoming.
One local brewery there has come up with a fun concoction dubbed “Eclipse” beer, and it’s is also hosting a party at its Jackson Hole venue.
Snake River Roasting Co. also has a special product on the market: eclipse coffee.
Ruth Ann, a spokesperson for the coffee house, told CNNMoney that the coffee has been “selling like mad.”
Portland’s pot tribute
Cannabis dispensaries in Oregon are not shying away from eclipse promotions.
A pot shop in Portland called Oregon’s Finest has started selling a strain of weed it’s named “moon puppies.”
The state is one of only seven (plus D.C.) that has legalized recreational marijuana use. And it’s the only state in the path of totality that that allows legal weed.
Viewing glasses made in Knoxville
Tennessee-based Paper Optics usually sells 3D glasses.
But the company has been making some special eyewear in preparation for the eclipse.
Special ultra-dark sunglasses are needed to safely view the event. And Paper Optics has been producing millions of pairs over the past couple of years to prepare for the demand, according to the Associated Press.
In the wake of the demand, there have been some reports of unsafe bogus eclipse glasses that may not be dark enough to protect your eyes.
But the American Astronomical Society lists the glasses made by Paper Optics as having met international safety standards.
The “Total Eclipse Cruise”
You won’t even have to be on land to watch this eclipse. One cruise liner is advertising the chance to see the sky show by sea.
Royal Caribbean is offering a “Total Eclipse Cruise” that it calls an “out-of-this-world” weeklong trip. The cruise will sail to “the optimal spot at sea for guests to witness the total solar eclipse,” the company said in a press release.
The the ship will set sail on August 20 from Orlando, Florida and stop by several other destinations — including Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Nassau, Bahamas — on the week long adventure. Tickets start at $2,422.
Oregon’s solar eclipse shoes
The small town of Philomath, Oregon isn’t usually a tourism hot spot. But because it lies in the path of totality, Philomath is expecting a flood of visitors August 21.
A local handcrafted shoe company, Softstar Shoes, is trying to capitalize on the attention with a special edition eclipse slipper.
“These moccasins are handcrafted in-house and are made of smooth, buttery soft leather and luxurious sheepskin,” the company said in a statement.
“The Banana Sun”
Chiquita — yes, the banana company — has claimed to have created the “ultimate eclipse-themed (marketing) phenomenon.”
The company has cheekily claimed for weeks that they will be responsible for the eclipse. But Chiquita claims the special moment to watch for is just before and after totality.
For “two glorious moments” before and after the the moon fully blocks the sun, it will “turn the burning ball of gas in the center of our solar system into a giant banana,” the company said.
If it sounds crazy, Chiquita is owning that fact. It named its new marketing strategy “We Are Bananas.”
Chiquita is partnering with the comedy team at Funny or Die for a live stream event the morning of the eclipse. It kicks off at 9:15 am PT.