The high cost of real estate in big cities has driven thousands of aspiring restaurateurs to start up their eatery on wheels. A Tennessee advertising, marketing, and public relation firm is the first to spark the trend for a food manufacturer.
“Bunge is an edible oils food manufacturer and we were looking for a unique way to deliver our message that foods baked and fried in healthier cooking oils can still taste great," says Bill McCullough, Bunge's marketing director. "Our food truck, nicknamed MOE (Mobile Oil Experts), gives us a unique way to deliver great-tasting street food at key customer events around the country. We can now bring Bunge's products to our customer’s doorstep."
The inspiration for MOE came at a meeting of top chefs at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Napa, California, last year. “Kogi, a mobile Korean food operation in Los Angeles, held a delicious mobile food demonstration at the event and the idea for MOE was born,” says Creative Energy’s director of new business, Forrest Rogers.
“We purchased a used Mac Tools delivery truck at an auto auction and work began. We have rebuilt the truck to be a fully operational kitchen that can feed 1,200 people,” Rogers says. The firm selected Essyx Exhibits and Displays of Johnson City to do the build out. The 18-foot truck has been converted to bio-diesel and utilizes used cooking oil to partially fuel the engine.
With a brand new kitchen, featuring a custom Frymaster Protector 60-gallon deep fryer, America is poised for some amazing deep fried delicacies. Chef Adam Moore, a Bunge Oils corporate chef from Chicago, will be behind the wheel of big MOE as it travels to major food shows and restaurant chain franchisee meetings across the nation.
MOE’s debut fed 350 people in late April at the annual Steak ‘n Shake/Western Sizzlin franchisee meeting in Indianapolis. The next day, MOE invited 1,200 Dow AgroSciences employees at their Indianapolis agribusiness campus to try products ranging from veggie wontons to Oreos fried in Bunge’s zero grams trans fat Nutra-Clear NT, an Omega-9 canola oil. During the National Restaurant Show in Chicago, MOE will lead the biggest tailgate party outside US Cellular Park just before a Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball game.
“Creative Energy is helping to set new standards for marketing and Bunge’s MOE is a great example,” says the company’s president, Tony Treadway. “While our client’s competitors are confined to a trade show booth with thousands of other food manufacturers, MOE will be on the streets of Chicago cooking up their very best for their target customers during the most important industry event of the year.”
Mobile food marketing is just one of several new trends Creative Energy is pioneering. The firm is also leveraging social media to launch consumer products for restaurants and recently pioneered a one-of-a-kind partnership of food companies to promote the “South’s Best Foods” for the Southeastern Food Processors Association. The promotion will reach millions of consumers in eight southeastern states during May.
“We’re taking our clients to the streets and into the hands of the consumer,” Forrest Rogers says. “As traditional advertising gives way to new ways to build relationships with current and new customers, Creative Energy is providing the leadership in how our clients can stand out from the rest.”
Creative Energy is a full-service advertising, marketing, and public relations firm based in Johnson City, Tennessee, and Asheville, North Carolina. The firm was recently selected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as one of only 75 companies in America for its Blue Ribbon Award for Small Businesses. For more information on the company and its services, visit www.cenergy.com.