If you’re like me, interacting with a bus full of avocados sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon. And if you happen to be on the West Coast this summer, you’ll get that opportunity.
Wholly Guacamole, maker of all-natural avocado-based dips and spreads, will take its products on the road this summer for the Guaclandia Tour 2018, which offers an “Instagram-able Avocado Experience” (via Food and Wine).
Guaclandia will travel to select U.S. cities handing out unlimited free samples of Wholly Guacamole products and providing endless photo-ops for fans. According to a release, features to interact with will include a chair shaped like an avocado pit, a retro claw machine full of tote bags, pins, and pool floats, and an avocado-inspired wall for snapping selfies. There’s also a swimming pool, a jumbo ball pit, and “tips on ‘keepin’ it real,” which presumably has to do with food.
Ten years ago, the concept might have seemed ridiculous to many, but in 2018, a traveling avocado circus that encourages people to snap and post pictures actually amounts to a clever branding scheme for a food company. As I wrote last year, Instagram is already an influential platform when it comes to small(ish) businesses gaining visibility and spreading awareness of a particular food culture. And avocados are definitely a food culture at this point, for better and for worse. And as Catherine Lamb recently said, these “delicious, weird, and informative food-focused Instagrams” keep us inspired.
Plus, Guaclandia is hardly the first time a food company’s taken its show on the road. The Museum of Ice Cream launched in 2016 in NYC. Still going strong, it features things like an inflatable pool filled with sprinkles, hula-hooping, and the Limbo. The photos I’ve seen also trigger my taste buds for ice cream and pastel colors. You can catch it right now in San Francisco.
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Frozen food maker Birdseye got in the game even earlier, in 2014, when it opened a temporary London restaurant featuring a pay-by-picture concept. In other words, diners settled their bill by snapping a picture of their meal and posting it with the hashtag #BirdsEyeInspirations. They even had a professional food photographer at the event, to offer tips and tutorials on how to take the best Instagram photos.
Even restaurants are getting onboard. Recently London-based Jones and Sons teamed up with Knorr, whose software suggests recipes to indecisive eaters. This past April, the two unveiled “Eat Your Feed,” a pop-up that let attendees connect their Instagrams to Knorr’s software, which would then scan the feeds and create a menu based off the photos.
These pop-ups have met with varying success rates. The Museum of Ice Cream, for example, really is as fun as it sounds. And while I wasn’t there for the Birdseye event, frozen vegetables seems a way less appealing sell, even when dinner comes at the mere cost of a picture. Wholly Guacamole has an advantage in that its pushing a product that’s both a bonafide trend and, in this company’s case, a fairly healthy product focused on another current food movement: real ingredients.
So if that plus a mobile Instagram party sounds like a win, check the dates to see where you can keep it real this summer.