The Couscous Caravan is on the street in Seattle, spreading the good word about its tasty side dish until May 15. This is the Near East brand’s first foray into food trucks and the vehicle will be visiting retailers, weekend events and downtown locations to serve up free couscous samples, recipes and coupons all the while building buzz and excitement via the brand’s Facebook page at facebook.com/neareastdish and on Twitter @NearEastDish.
Seattle chef Jason Wilson has created several recipes inspired by city neighborhoods for the program. The dishes feature local ingredients like Washington State apples, Walla Walla onions and Pacific albacore tuna. Wilson’s couscous creations are featured onboard the Couscous Caravan at select stops.
The campaign has an altruistic side, too. Via its social media channels, Near East is working to fight hunger across the state of Washington. Through the end of the campaign, the brand is inviting Seattleites to tweet the hashtag #CouscousCaravan and for every tweet to @NearEastDish with #CouscousCaravan in the message, Near East will donate a box of couscous to Northwest Harvest, a Washington-based hunger relief agency. The goal is to donate 10,000 boxes, so they need that many tweets. In addition, if followers post a photo of the Caravan with the tweet, the brand will double the donation to two boxes of couscous.
Near East isn’t keeping all the action on Twitter, though. Facebook users can also help fight hunger by posting pictures of the Couscous Caravan to the brand’s page. Fans must first “like” Near East Dish on Facebook, then post a photo of the Couscous Caravan and tag Near East Dish in it. Near East will donate two boxes of couscous to Northwest Harvest for each photo posted there, too.
“Near East is a strong brand, but it has low brand awareness. We find that when people try the product they really become loyal consumers,” E.G. Fishburne, senior brand manager at Near East, told Buzz. “This gets the product into their mouths and that pulls them into the brand.”