How We Did It: Brought Our Brand To Coachella

coachella vending

In this new series, we’re asking makers to share their biggest business #wins with a play-by-play of how they made it happen. Whether you need to study the greats or get motivation to make your own success stories happen, our How We Did It series will give you the inspiration and information you need. Want to share one of your own? Tell us here!

Korean sauce and snack brand KPOP Foods is an emerging Los Angeles-based food business. So how did they end up slinging food to thousands of attendees at this year’s Coachella festival? Here’s the story, and what they learned from their crazy experience.

Love Streetlight’s blog? Get it delivered to your inbox weekly.

Spicy wings with KPOP Sauce

KPOP, you had the exciting opportunity to utilize your Korean sauce line as part of the food lineup at this year’s Coachella festival. How did you make it happen?

The opportunity came from our Head of Product, celebrity chef Chris Oh. He has worked with Coachella for the past couple of years. This year, having already registered another restaurant booth a month before the event, Chris was asked if he was interested in showcasing a second booth. Quickly, we came up with a game plan, thinking about the food, menu, licensing, etc. Thankfully, we pulled it all off. It took a lot of work from the entire team, but in the end, it all turned out great.

Given that your product is an ingredient, how did you maximize brand touchpoints and recognition at the event?

Since our brand is an ingredient, we had to get creative in our marketing process so that customers could differentiate us from Chingu (the restaurant we collaborated with). We maximized our recognition by creating a banner that went along one of the walls in the booth. It was a collage of our brand stickers. We also added our hashtag, #kpopfoods, on the back of the tent. This allowed customers in line or ordering to see our brand name and check out our social feeds while they waited. We gave out branded bandanas, stickers, and our signature Sea Snacks along with certain orders.

Additionally, we had bottles of each of our sauces at the front of the tent so customers could try each sauce. They could add some to their chicken or fries, or take them to go. To build hype, we had at least one member of our team explaining the different sauces to the festival-goers at all times. They answered questions and shared information on how to purchase.

How did you prepare?

Our primary goal was to stand out from the other booths in our area. We started by drawing out designs for what we wanted the inside of the tent to look like. After that, we spray-painted beach balls of various sizes in our brand colors and created the banners for the sides of the booth. We also added disco balls and lights at each corner of the booth, so at night we would turn the lights on and attract customers. In the end, the vibrant colors and fun atmosphere made our booth more than just a simple food stand.

What was the execution like?

After creating all the assets that we needed for our booth, our team set up, stringing the balloons together and putting up the disco ball, lights, and banner. Next, we assigned stations in the booth and got to work. In two weekends of chicken and fries, we successfully spread Korean food and flavors to hundreds of Coachella attendees.

What mistakes did you make? What would you do differently next time?

One mistake we made was not bringing enough sauces or chicken to last us the entire weekend. We didn’t anticipate being as busy as we were, leading to us selling out of chicken and having to restock after the second day. Then our sauce supply for both weekends was almost completely gone after weekend 1, meaning we needed twice as much as we had anticipated. If we were invited again next year, we would be more prepared for the amount of traffic our booth experienced.

Fries with KPOP Sauce


Get the Newsletter

Our weekly newsletter contains everything a food entrepreneur needs to stay current, share connections, and succeed in the business. Sign up for interviews with experts, insights from peers, and all the most relevant industry news. Don’t get caught without the resource every foodpreneur is talking about. Subscribe now!