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Experiential Marketing in the Food Industry

Any good restaurateur knows that designing delicious dishes is only half the battle when it comes to marketing a restaurant. Diners should also get struck by the restaurant’s ambiance, and they should have an exceptional, well-rounded dining experience. Restaurateurs now know the overwhelming impact a dining experience can have on a customer’s overall perception of a restaurant. On some occasions, a negative event can even outweigh phenomenal food and excellent service. For this reason, among others, the prevalence of experiential marketing in the food industry started to surge in recent years.

Food trucks 

One of the most common examples of experiential marketing in the food industry is the increased popularity of food trucks and mobile vendors. Though the mobile food industry has been around for hundreds of years, food trucks only became popular in the last few decades. Particularly common in urban settings, food trucks offer customers a unique and convenient way to eat that they can’t receive in a traditional restaurant setting. Trejo’s Tacos Super Bowl Food Truck, for example, gave customers the opportunity to be served by and dine with actor Danny Trejo. While Trejo’s Tacos does have several permanent locations throughout California, this mobile food truck allowed founder Danny Trejo to interact with his clients in a way he wouldn’t normally.

Flavorful and fun

Many other companies in the food industry also see the benefits experiential marketing vehicles and campaigns have on their marketing strategy. Companies specializing in pre-packaged food, for instance, have long used experiential marketing vehicles as an avenue for testing and unveiling new products. By utilizing custom mobile marketing vehicles, these companies can travel to various locations and present their new products to a wider audience base. This gives customers the opportunity to test items before they hit retail shelves, and it allows the company to conduct crucial market research regarding all aspects of the product, including taste, name, and design. 

When using an experiential marketing campaign to conduct market research, many companies do ask visitors to participate in a brief survey surrounding first impressions of the product. These companies also realize, however, that work is just as important as play. For this reason, many companies will include interactive elements into their marketing vehicle’s design. Some companies feature live performances, interactive games, or photo booths complete with a custom hashtag, so visitors can share their experience with all their friends. There’s also, of course, never any shortage of tasty, free samples.