Playing off the idea that food is fuel, Daily Harvest, a direct-to-consumer brand that delivers organic, plant-based meals on a subscription basis, was pumping out smoothies and other goodies at its retro-style gas station in New York’s SoHo neighborhood from November 14 to 18.
The Refueling Station by Daily Harvest pop-up, which was produced by the Gathery, was the first offline experience by the brand. “We felt that this was the right time to get to know our customers offline. In order to realize our mission, we want to spend time with the people who, just like us, are searching for ways to thrive in a hyper connected and busy world,” said Daily Harvest’s C.E.O. and founder Rachel Drori. “That’s why we created the [pop-up], to disrupt New Yorkers’ overbooked schedules and show them that they can nourish their bodies with good food that won’t slow them down.”
Also, as is the case with most e-commerce brands that host brick-and-mortar events, Daily Harvest wanted to connect with fans as well as prospective customers who may not be familiar with the brand and allow them to sample and purchase the product.
Visitors were able to try samples including smoothies from the “gas pumps” and full-sized breakfast bowls, harvest bowls, smoothies, and more at the interactive “car wash” counter. The freezer aisle was reimagined as an interactive photo booth that featured different agricultural terrains where Daily Harvest’s organic produce and ingredients are sourced.
Plus, a giant avocado slice called “the ‘Cado Car” served as a twist on the nostalgic kiddie rides often found outside gas stations. “The retro elements like the ‘cado coin ride and hand-delivered cookie ATM are supposed to be a nostalgic reminder of the past, when food was less processed and we lived life at a slower pace,” Drori added.
The pop-up’s theme was also inspired by the grab-and-go lifestyle of many folks, especially New Yorkers. “Our busy schedules sometimes lead us to make quick and often unhealthy eating choices like grabbing something quickly at a bodega or Duane Reade. But it doesn’t need to be this way,” Drori said. “We thought of one of the most unhealthy places imaginable—a gas station filled with over-processed foods—and turned it on its head to be a food oasis. It’s a physical representation of our brand’s mission: to take care of food so food can take care of you.”
Daily Harvest is planning to host its Refueling Station pop-up in more cities in 2019.