The food truck craze is a huge trend right now. But there’s one member of the family that often gets left out of the experience – dogs. Well, not anymore. Now there’s a company that has created a food truck specifically for your canine friend. Oh, and all of the food is free.
Milo’s Kitchen is a company that sells home-style dog treats in flavors like chicken meatballs and burger bites. And this summer, the company kicked off a marketing campaign that involved driving a food truck across the country and giving treats away to dog visitors.
The tour — called the Treat Truck — began in June and ended over the weekend in New York City. The truck not only gave away its dog treats, but also offered other features like a doggie lounge and canine selfie station.
Sonya Thomas, brand manager of Milo’s Kitchen, explained the thinking behind this campaign to Inc.com:
“We saw the food truck craze, and we wanted to capitalize on the trend by giving pet-parents and their pets something new. Pets are part of the family and we don’t want them left out.”
Milo’s Kitchen is owned by Big Heart Pet Brands, a publicly traded company. So while it’s not exactly a small business, it’s still making use of a strategy that small businesses can learn from.
Milo’s Kitchen sells dog treats at several large grocery chains, not food trucks. But in a field that is loaded with dog food and treats, this type of marketing campaign has the potential to make the brand stand out from all the others available in pet aisles.
By capitalizing on a growing trend of food trucks and creating an all-encompassing experience for pets and their owners, Milo’s Kitchen likely created some big fans. Pets were able to try out the different treats for free and pet owners got to see them enjoy the whole experience while socializing with family, neighbors and other pet owners. For businesses that market locally, it’s an innovative approach to standing out from the crowd. Instead of waiting for customers to find your product in the stores, take it to them. But just don’t take it to them — do it in a way that creates a memorable experience.
So even though this doggy food truck was just for a summer, its effects could be long lasting. In fact, Milo’s estimates that over 12,000 dogs came out to the food truck during its cross-country road trip. And the company is so happy with the experience that it’s even considering incorporating similar campaigns in the future.
Image: Milo’s Twitter feed
The way most people spoil their dogs, this is going to be a big win.
That was a great way for the company to research the level of demand.
And canine selfie station?!! I love that!
Really cool. Although the dogs don’t really care where the food is coming from. It really doesn’t matter. It’s the owners who are the target market of this joint.
When will we see a food truck for cats? 🙂
I thought about that, Martin. For some reason, I don’t think it would work as well with cats. Not sure why I think this.
How to get started? We are in Central/South Florida area. There are numerous outdoor activities that allow dogs to visit as well. There is a venue call ‘food truck wars’; new to me, but have attended with my dog. Need at least one food truck for ‘companions only’ menu. Thoughts?
Thank you for your time.