Cooking show star Rachael Ray has hopped aboard the food truck trend, but not as you might expect. Her truck won’t be dishing out any of the tasty creations you may have seen her whip together on one of her TV shows.
This food truck is going to the dogs.
It’s all about Ray’s high-end dog food, Nutrish. This weekend her “Pop-Up Food Truck for Dogs” will be cruising around Manhattan, and Ray will be handing out samples. Depending on the response, she may roll the truck into other cities.
Ray is trying to create awareness of the need for pet adoption from shelters overcrowded with dogs, cats and other animals—as well as promoting her dog food line.
Ray donates her portion of the proceeds from sales of Nutrish to animal welfare organizations. Her total contributions are expected to hit $4 million by year’s end.
Manufactured by the family-owned Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, in Meadville, Pa., Nutrish was the fastest-growing dry dog food brand in grocery stores for the 26 weeks ending Sept. 29, according to a report in The New York Times. Sales were $22.6 million, up 45.4 percent from the same period last year, according to Ainsworth. The line is expected to reach $100 million in retail sales by January 2013.
The Rachael Ray Nutrish line offers dry and wet dog food and treats that contain no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. Ray’s truck will serve several varieties of her newest product, Nutrish Naturally Delish wet dog food, which features flavors like “Chicken Paw Pie,” “Tail Waggin’ Turkey” and “Chicken Muttballs.”
“Dogs will be served their choice on a dish, and they can go home with samples and a bottle of pup water,” Ray said in an interview this week after the filming of her daytime syndicated talk show, “Rachael Ray.”
Ray calls her food truck, which features a photo of her snuggling up with a happy pooch, the “Woof Wagon.” She will be posting updates to Facebook and Twitter, letting followers where the truck will be parking.
“For some people, pets are as important as anyone in the family,” Ray says. “We’re going to have more Nutrish products this year and next. And we’ll have food for cats, too.”
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