Interview: Blue Apron’s VP of Brand Experiences On Creating Memorable Culinary Activations

Interview: Blue Apron’s VP of Brand Experiences On Creating Memorable Culinary Activations
Brand Activation & Immersion

Food delivery service Blue Apron, whose convenient one-box meal kits have brought high-end meals to millions of millennial kitchens, is using its activation at this year's New York Wine & Food Festival to delight consumers and build its reputation as a serious culinary tastemaker

Emma Millen
  • 8 october 2018

Subscription-based meal service Blue Apron has taken its digital-first product into the physical realm with a series of brand activations, fostering a loyal base of consumers in the process. Wholesome food and wine is embedded into its core values, attracting customers with well-balanced meals, and curated recipes crafted from a team of expert chefs. Coming off a successful series of “Unboxed” activations throughout the summer, Blue Apron will showcase an immersive installation at the New York Wine & Food Festival, dedicated to the diverse cuisines of New York City.

Blue Apron’s most recent previous activation included the summer-long ‘Unboxed’ series held in multiple cities around the United States, which focused on exploration and discovery. Through this series, Blue Apron was able to immerse itself in local communities to share experiences with consumers. Activations were location-specific and often designed to target millennials. For example, Blue Apron visited Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco with their “Box on Wheels” mobile tour, an immersive experience where “people could learn about our products, the sourcing strategy behind them,” Michelle Chiu, Vice President of Brand Experiences at Blue Apron told PSFK. “All of these opportunities through our Unboxed series really allowed people to grow an affinity for our brand.”

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During the festival, participants will have the opportunity to stop by the engaging “Blue York City” booth, which will feature three stalls each inspired by a different New York City neighborhood. Each stall will be decorated accordingly, including graffiti murals that will depict an artistic scene of each location. In addition, each stall will service recipes inspired by the specific neighborhood’s cuisine. The neighborhoods chosen to be represented are Little Italy, with calzones; St. Marks, serving Yuzu-ade; and Sunset Park, Brooklyn, offering tacos. Samples, recipes, demos by their experienced chefs, and free gifts including exclusive themed pins, add to the visitor’s immersion in the Blue Apron experience.

“We wanted to be able to create this opportunity to engage with consumers in person and give them a chance to actually interact with our product, touch our product, ask us questions, and also for them to be fully educated on what it is that Blue Apron does, our mission behind our food, and the work that we do,” says Chiu.

A fourth area of the booth is designed to resemble Gramercy Park. Here, guests can enjoy a relaxing scene to rest, charge their phone, and share their Blue Apron moments.”We’re meeting the guests where they need to be met. We want this to be an experience where they’re walking into our space and feeling really welcome,” Chiu says.

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The dishes presented at the festival were carefully chosen to showcase Blue Apron’s range and diversity of culinary knowledge, hopefully appealing to self-proclaimed foodies and food enthusiasts. Chiu hopes the booth will inform attendees who already have a passion for food and wine of the value of bringing Blue Apron home.

Not only will ‘Blue York City’ give Blue Apron the opportunity to reach to a segmented consumer base, but they will also be able to provide further instruction and encouragement for participants through a team of brand ambassadors. The brand ambassadors will be available during the festival to work with customers and explain new services and offerings, guiding participants onto the platform through the use of iPads to view more information about Blue Apron’s meal plan options and subscription service. “Priority number one for us is engaging with customers and building that brand affinity and brand awareness,” Chiu told PSFK. To further its involvement in the festival, Blue Apron is entered in the Burger Bash event hosted by Rachel Ray with what is, according to Chiu, a state-of-the-art burger recipe.

By creating digital products and campaigns that are targeting different demographics and consumer segments through live activations, its goal from the participation in the New York Wine & Food Festival is to embrace the most loyal customers while educate new consumers on bringing both fun and high quality to the kitchen. In the future, Chiu plans on more activations and events to continue building Blue Apron’s offline community. We’re not boxing ourselves in in any way,” she says. “We want to keep pushing the envelope of creativity, with a keen eye on meeting the customers and celebrating their love for us and our love for them.”

Blue Apron

Subscription-based meal service Blue Apron has taken its digital-first product into the physical realm with a series of brand activations, fostering a loyal base of consumers in the process. Wholesome food and wine is embedded into its core values, attracting customers with well-balanced meals, and curated recipes crafted from a team of expert chefs. Coming off a successful series of “Unboxed” activations throughout the summer, Blue Apron will showcase an immersive installation at the New York Wine & Food Festival, dedicated to the diverse cuisines of New York City.

+Blue Apron
+brand activation & immersion
+Delivery
+Delivery & Logistics
+event
+Food
+food & beverage
+Grocery
+loyalty & membership
+meal kit
+merchandising & curation
+packaging & product engagement
+retail
+shopper education assistance
+subscription

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