Blue Apron got to know its expanding consumer base through interactive cooking experiences.
Blue Apron, provider of chef-designed recipes delivered to your door in an insulated box, kicked off a series of events across multiple cities this summer with the goal of celebrating home cooking, promoting its recipe products and getting to know its expanding consumer base through interactive cooking experiences and in-person conversations. Dubbed “Unboxed,” the event series included a month-long experiential retail location throughout June in New York City’s Flatiron District, movie nights in Austin, Dallas and Minneapolis, and a 40-foot shipping container in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle featuring four different multisensory, immersive experiences.
The brand’s strategy was to use cooking as a connector between its test kitchen chefs, new and existing consumers and the brand itself. The “Unboxed” events were mainly about “taking what has been a traditionally digital-first product and bringing it into the community and then interacting with our consumer base in person through fun and interactive and immersive experiences,” says Michelle Chiu, vp-experiences at Blue Apron.
“The idea behind all of it was about discovery and exploration of our brand and our product lines,” says Chiu. “A lot of people are familiar with our name, Blue Apron, but this gave us an opportunity to build different platforms roaming across the nation, to be able to meet them where they are and help them to better understand what it is that we do and how we can be more accessible for the different lifestyles across our consumer base.”
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And that consumer base is expanding, Chiu says. “When we were younger as a company we attracted more people in their twenties and their thirties. But as we’ve evolved in the last five years, what we see now is that our product actually reaches such a range of ages and demographics… and that our menus are so varied in the different cuisines that we cover and the flexibility we have with our plans, whether it’s two-person or four servings, whether it’s vegetarian or not,” Chiu says.
The brand’s broadening demographic was reflected in its New York City retail pop-up, which featured weekly themes of cooking classes and demos, events and author panels throughout the day and evening. Week one, all about “Party Vibes,” highlighted the brand’s Party Box which was being piloted over the summer. A feast for six people including a full main course, two sides and two apps, the box was brought to life through cooking classes over the weekend. An author panel touched on hosting parties and a rosé wine and cheese tasting added to the fiesta feel.
Week two took it up a notch with a “Chef University” theme, which targeted consumers with chef skills that were a bit more sophisticated. These self-identified foodies enjoyed pasta-making classes and making sauces from scratch, “to elevate …read more