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Solar eclipse hype drives promotions from Krispy Kreme, Frito-Lay, airlines



More and more businesses are taking advantage of the total solar eclipse set to dim skies across North America on Monday.

In the snacks department alone, Krispy Kreme is teaming up with Oreo to sell a limited doughnut-cookie creation. Sonic Drive-In is selling a “Blackout Slush Float.” And Frito-Lay’s SunChips has unveiled a new flavor that will only be available during the celestial event’s nearly 4 and a half minutes of totality.

MoonPie also kicked off a “Sun vs. Moon” smackdown-themed campaign as the chocolate snack maker promotes its “eclipse survival kit,” made up of four mini MoonPies and two pairs of eclipse glasses.

Meanwhile, airlines like Southwest and Delta have advertised eclipse-viewing flight paths. And beyond promotions from big-name brands, small businesses along the 115 mile (185 kilometer)-wide prime path are leading the charge to meet the incoming tourist demand.

Some towns and local vendors have been anticipating the celestial event and its huge crowds for years. There are oodles of special eclipse safety glasses for sale, along with T-shirts emblazoned with clever slogans and more astronomical souvenirs. Other offerings include eclipse-themed beer, specialty dining packages and watch parties at amusement parks, wineries and zoos.

Marketing tied to rare spectacles, like the sun’s disappearing act behind the moon, isn’t new.

In 2017, the last time the U.S. saw a big slice of a total solar eclipse, scores of companies tapped into the action — including Krispy Kreme.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company previously rolled out limited-edition chocolate glazed doughnuts for the 2017 eclipse, and those treats have made a few returns since. But that might not be the case for this year’s “Total Solar Eclipse Doughnut.” The Krispy Kreme-Oreo combo is set to be available from Friday through Monday, according to an announcement from the chain this week.

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