Word of mouth is not the only way in which a company can publicize their product. Organic cereal company Alara Cereal hosted, for the sixth year in a row, a free organic food festival.
Alara Cereal is not a name brand cereal company but the company is one of the first manufacturers to make organic muesli. This means that the cereal is completely organic and the creation of the cereal is sustainable.
For the past six years the company has hosted the Alara Wassail Party. This year it took place on the 10th of February at the company’s office in Kings Cross. It was a completely outdoor party with a bonfire, bake-off, a free organic food buffet and free organic beer. There was a jazz band that performed and the chance to walk through the company’s Camley Street Orchard.
One of the reasons the event was called the ‘Wassail’ party is because Wassailing is the ancient tradition where townsfolks would awaken the apple trees and scare away the evil spirits, ensuring that a good harvest of fruit would come within the year. Since Alara is an organic company, it seems fit that the company would stay true to its roots.
The location of the event, as stated above, was in the company’s parking lot. It had been snowing all evening so the large bonfire was a nice way to stay warm. Coming from New England, I’m used to the nights filled with bonfires and was happy that instead of an indoor stuffy event, the company opted to spend the evening outdoors and surrounded by warmth. While the location is about a twenty-minute walk from two tube stations (King’s Cross and Camden Town) the group I was with did not mind the walk. It might have been cold but the walk added to the adventure. The area around Alara is pretty remote so it was a quiet walk. In general, the location seemed to fit the event.
Since the event was outside I was a bit worried about what would happen if I needed to use the bathroom. Luckily the company left their main building open so all amenities were covered. In line I got a chance to speak to some of the employees and they seemed to enjoy their job and this event was one of the more highly anticipated events of the year for them.
The food was absolutely amazing. Everything was cooked fresh and some of the volunteers were even cooking in front of us! They had options for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters, which was nice. A lot of festivals make it hard for people with dietary restrictions to eat. One of my friends has a bad nut allergy and even she could eat some of the plates that were made. The apple pie bake-off was also a hit and all the sweets were made with love.
On one of the tables there was a raffle. All the money went to protecting the rainforests in South America, a cause that seemed very passionate to the volunteers. Also the company was giving away free products from their own factory, as well as products made by sponsors. I’m a sucker for free snacks and food! One of the tables also was offering discounted gym memberships if someone was interested in signing up that evening.
For not knowing too much about the event, as I had heard about the event from a friend who saw it advertised on TimeOut, I was surprised about how much I enjoyed everything. The food was fantastic, the volunteers and employees were outspoken and everyone there looked to be enjoying themselves.
Giving away free products, whether a food event like this or products that are developed by the company, is the best way to draw attention. On the company’s Facebook event page one of the managers guessed that there were over 800 people in attendance throughout the night. That is 800 people that know about what Alara makes, how the cereal is organic and will now leave positive reviews about the product and event. The more positive feedback the better the company becomes.