College Team Logos On Sonic Burger Buns: Is It Safe?

Sonic College Logo Themed Burgers
Sonic Drive-In will be offering specialty burgers stamped with the logos of NCAA's top football teams. Twitter

Sonic, Oklahoma City-based fast-food chain, is taking marketing to a whole new level. Company executives have launched an advertising campaign that places the logo of your favorite college football team directly onto burger buns.

According to Sonic’s chief marketing officer, James O’Reilly, the logos are stamped with tapioca starch and up to three food colorings approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture by way of wax paper. Tapioca starch, or tapioca flour, is an alternative to wheat-based flour that can be used for baking. Its most common use is for binding gluten-free recipes and improving the texture of baked goods.

"Any opportunity to take a great-tasting product and tailor it to the local community makes good sense," O’Reilly told USA Today. “We're a gathering spot in many smaller communities. This will generate a lot of buzz.”

These specialty burgers cost between $3.99 and $4.99 due to licensing and royalty fees paid to each respective university. Some of the schools already featured on top of the college football-themed burgers include the University of Louisiana, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University.

Food colorings, or color additives, are dye, pigment, or other substances that can change the color of food, drugs, or skin. The Food and Drugs Act passed in 1906 prohibits the use of poisonous colors in cooking or baking to conceal damage to food.

O’Reilly said the college logo-steamed burgers will be around for up to three months following the rollout.

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