Branded Food Trucks for a Good Cause

Sometimes, your brand doesn’t always have to think about “the bottom line.” You can still win with consumers and build your business at the same time just by giving back and doing good. Check out some of these branded food truck activations for a good cause. 

When we think of experiential marketing our minds generally go to selling or promoting a product, service, new location, grand opening, etc. But, using a branded truck or food truck can also be the perfect vehicle to say “thanks” or give back to your customers and community in a creative and delicious way. 

Ralph Lauren serving a cup of Ralph’s Coffee to medical professionals at MSKCC.



Take a look outside and you’ll see we’re living in a “new normal.” With over 73,000 confirmed deaths as of May 7th in the U.S. alone, according to Johns Hopkins University, it is impossible to not be impacted in some way, directly or indirectly, by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you were to look up the basic definition of “marketing” you’d find, from Merriam Webster, it means, “the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.” 

Even in a time where over 33 million jobs have been lost, businesses are shuttered, countless states have yet to fully “reopen,” and economic uncertainty prevails, most people are more concerned with their health and safety and that of their loved ones than opening their wallets and spending money. 

That concept flies in the face of what “marketing” is because consumers aren’t prioritizing purchasing in their lives. 

So, how do brands cope? Frankly speaking, how do brands stay relevant and stave off their own financial freefall in a time where one story dominates all our lives, but without coming across as insensitive and tone-deaf? 

If you think about it, experiential marketing, at its core, is emotion-based marketing. It’s a formidable tool that brands can leverage to connect with consumers on a personal level, evoke powerful emotions, and call its audience to action. 

Harnessing experiential marketing with a branded food truck to “give back” and “do good” has the power to promote and endear your brand to consumers in a way that is compassionate, thoughtful, and self-aware. As the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”


Earlier this week, Ralph Lauren dedicated Nurse Appreciation Day to the nurses on the frontlines at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York fighting COVID-19 with a branded food truck serving up free cups of the brand’s Ralph’s Coffee

Ralph's Coffee MSKCC

In 2019, clothing retailer Zara teamed up with JustWater to join in on the celebrations for that year’s annual Pride Parade in New York City. Marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the parade drew a record 2.5 million attendees across Manhattan. 

With a novel concept to compliment the parade (instead of clashing with it), Zara and JustWater distributed over 9,000 bottles of water to parade-goers to keep them hydrated in the hot June sun that were showcased in a branded Zara glass truck whose interior displayed different colors of JustWater to represent the pride flag. 

Zara Branded Food Truck

Last fall, Quaker Chewy wanted to help kids in NYC get energized for back-to-school with their nutritious granola bars. In partnership with, and some added celebrity star-power from Neil Patrick Harris, a branded Quaker Chewy food truck gave away over 500 assorted boxes of Quaker Chewy bars with NPH himself manning the counter

As an added bonus, not only for the activation, but nationwide, for every box code entered, Quaker Chewy donated $1 to

Neil Patrick Harris Quaker Chewy Branded Food Truck



It’s all too easy for brands to get lost in “the bottom line” because the reality is you can’t stay in business if you don’t make money. But, being an active member of your community or showing commitment to a particular cause or organization can pay dividends in the long-run. 

When you can showcase compassion and empathy, you can create brand loyalty. Representing 64% of the world’s total population, Generation Z and Millennials are the most in-demand demographics for brands and marketers. And, a 2018 report published by MNI Targeted Media revealed 56% of Gen-Zers considered themselves to be socially conscious and more than 50% said that knowing a brand is socially-conscious influences their purchasing decisions.

Launching a branded food truck for your business is the perfect way to bring a unique, memorable, and authentic experience to your community, and all for a good cause.

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