Swagging Out: The Takeout Trend That Canada is Wearing

By: Sean Beckingham

Hey there, fellow takeout enthusiasts! We’ve got some hot news for you, and it’s not coming in a takeout container. It’s all about swag – the merch, the gear, the branding you never knew you needed. So, grab your favourite takeout and read on as we delve into the tasty trend everyone’s talking about.

Swag Through the Ages

Remember the days when your staff uniform was worn only out of necessity? Well, times have changed! Gone are the days of ditching your greasy apron before a night on the town. Fast food merch has undergone a serious glow up. Now, you can proudly strut your stuff in retro merchandise from your favourite takeout joints of yesteryears. Can you imagine your grandparents rocking a Tim Hortons beret from work to the local bar? It’s safe to say they’d give it a hard pass!

Even the iconic racer jacket that once adorned delivery persons in the ’90s is back in style. But it’s not just about nostalgia; it’s about celebrating the spirit of these beloved eateries.

Generation X Nostalgia

While it’s true that Gen X are the ones harbouring these fond first-hand memories, the swag revival is being fueled by their kids, Gen Z. Gen Z has embraced nostalgia with open arms, resurrecting brands and proudly wearing their logos. That Tim Hortons beret? It’s now a conversation starter at the park where Gen Z gathers to chat, sip bubble teas, and flaunt their takeout treasures.

Brands Taking the Leap

Inspired by Gen Z’s passion for retro revival, the brands themselves are bringing the swag resurgence to life. More than ever, companies are embracing this trend, curating clothing collections that go beyond uniforms. Let’s take a look at some of the brands joining this swagg-y movement and bringing their merch to the masses:

Tim Hortons

In 2022, Tim Hortons teamed up with none other than Justin Bieber for a collaboration that had everyone buzzing. They released a collection featuring a toque, fanny pack, and a bag. Celebrities ordered these items from Hollywood, and they even became collectors’ items, fetching over $200 on auction sites

Tim Hortons didn’t stop there; in September 2023, they launched an online shop with limited-edition merch including nostalgic vintage-inspired sweatshirts and T-shirts. Shop from 3 collections of swag: Always Fresh, Always Fun, Always Tims.

The Always Fresh line up features a super-soft and contemporary set of essentials with a tasteful embroidered red patch design. This line was inspired by Tim Hortons Original Blend Coffee “Always Fresh, Always Delicious” tagline.

Always Fun is a bright, colourful and modern collection of loungewear packed full of flavour. Novelty crewnecks come in bright pink, electric blue, and Double Double™ – a creamy off-white with brown lettering. 

Always Tims is where the real nostalgia shines. Classic apparel and vintage-inspired accessories feature the old school Tims logo and branding. Red lettering over brown and yellow stripes adorn a line of hoodies, T-shirts, and hats.


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KFC Colonel & Co.

KFC deserves honourable mention for diving into the world of fast food merch before it was cool. Colonel & Co. launched in 2017 with a holiday line of joke gifts, like the popcorn chicken pocket fill up t-shirt, a fried chicken laptop skin, neon bucket light, and Kentucky Fried Crumbs Commemorative Plate. 

In 2021, they kicked it up a notch by bringing us a finger lickin’ good merch drop. In true Gen Z form, it included a red fanny pack and red slides featuring the Colonel’s face. A white “Original Recipe” crewneck, white KFC cotton athletic jacket with red accents, and a “Chicken Tender” baby onesie are just some of the other items you can find in this iconic collection. The collection will have you ready for your #KentuckyFriedFitCheck any day of the week. 

Pizza Nova

Celebrating their 60th anniversary in style, Pizza Nova launched a limited-edition retro merch collection, featuring T-shirts and hats that capture the essence of their brand. If you’ve ever hummed along to the “439 oh oh oh oh Pizza Nova” jingle, you’ll appreciate this blast from the past.


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Chipotle Goods serves up retro gear, apparel dyed with upcycled avocado pits, and cozy loungewear essentials. The highlight of the online shop is the custom order tee, where you can put your favourite Chipotle order on a soft, comfortable 100% Organic Cotton tee.


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Jarritos Canada

The beloved Mexican soft drink that accompanies many a taco in Canada entered the fashion game big time in 2023. Collaborating with Nike, they released an SB line in the iconic Jarritos colours. Sneakerheads lined up for a taste of this limited-edition footwear, which now fetches a pretty penny on resale sites – $1500 for a pair! Doubling down in Canada they also tapped into skate culture with boards created by local artists and a skate capsule collection, reserved for a lucky few. Rumour has it there are even more limited-edition pieces coming in 2024!


In-N-Out’s merch catalog is extensive, featuring everything from apparel and accessories to beach towels to retro igloo coolers. With regular seasonal drops, you can be sure the selection will always be as fresh as their burgers. They have annual collectors shirts dating all the way back to 1986. 2024 is the brand’s 75th anniversary, and there is already an epic selection of swag available on their site, like a Hawaiian shirt and letterman jacket featuring the 75th anniversary logo.

The Panera Shop

The Panera Shop has a wide selection of fashion for foodies. Their Carb Couture collection features all manner of apparel perfect for pasta-eating, from their Mac Drip hoodie and joggers to their All My Friends Are Bread Crew. Their Swim Soups collection doesn’t disappoint either. You’ll find one pieces, crop tops, ruched bikini bottoms, swim trunks, and swim tanks with soup themed prints like Creamy Tomato and Broccoli Cheddar.


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Vintage Finds Galore

If you’re on the hunt for more vintage takeout treasures, look no further than your local vintage shops. Here, you can uncover rare pieces from long-retired local restaurants, employee uniforms of days gone by, and even obscure gems like the “Pepsi Generation Next” football/soccer jersey from 1998. Who knew that vintage swag could be so stylish?

So, do you own any restaurant or food brand swag? Would you consider it? It’s clear that the takeout world is experiencing a swag renaissance, and we’re all here for it! Whether you’re sporting a Tim Hortons toque or a Pizza Nova T-shirt, let your takeout flag fly high and proud. Who knows what delicious swag the future holds? It’s time to takeout your merch with your order and show the world where your foodie loyalties lie!

Featured photo credit: @kfc_canada