Wellness TruFood, a new category of dog and cat food that contains nutritious ingredients like chia seeds, kale and yogurt cultures, on June 25 kicked off a national pet sampling tour with an event in New York City. The event, called Barkfest, featured a roster of pet-friendly activities at the Madison Square Park Dog Run, as well as engagements that are included on the tour. The coast-to-coast tour, which is hitting dog parks and food festivals, kicked off July 8 in Phoenix and ends Oct. 18 in Boston.
Barkfest offered live folk music, a chalk artist and the “world’s largest paw-painted mural” created by pets and their owners. For every paw print and human hand stamped on the mural, parent company Wellness Natural Pet Food donated a bag of pet food to shelter pets nationally, including the New York Humane Society. The mural was donated to charity after the event. Pet owners could also consult with Wellness TruFood nutrition experts.
Activities at Barkfest that are also featured on the tour include sampling from the Wellness TruFood Waggin’ Wagon food truck. At each stop, consumers can examine the product offerings, recipes and give their dogs a sample. There is also a digital extension—an on-site photo activation tied to the brand’s TruFood Watercolor App where pet parents can transform pet photos into digital watercolor portraits. The images are tagged with #TruLoveIs and can be shared on social media. (The app is available to all consumers for download, whether they make it to a tour stop or not.)
“The audience for TruFood is comprised of pet parents that are health conscious themselves, closely reviewing the ingredients in what they eat, choosing mainly whole-foods and extending this healthy eating philosophy to their pets,” says Chanda Leary-Coutu, senior manager-marketing at Wellness Natural Pet Food. “This event allowed us to engage pet parents in a two-way conversation around TruFood, gain an understanding of what they are looking for in a pet food and explain how Wellness TruFood may benefit their dog or cat.” Agency: BGM Experiential, Boston.