McCormick Leans Into RV Travel Craze With National Park Pop-Ups

Seasoning brand teams with RVshare and Kampgrounds of America to launch Grill Mates products

Woman handing a man a GrillMates tot
The brand handed out more than 1,500 grab-and-go kits over Labor Day Weekend. McCormick
Headshot of Ian Zelaya

As road trips remain the most popular and safest way to travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, RV purchases in the U.S. are seeing a boom expected to continue into fall. McCormick has found RV travel’s popularity an ideal opportunity to promote new seasonings, specifically for grilling.

The spice and condiment brand partnered with peer-to-peer RV rental company RVshare and public campground network Kampgrounds of America to launch its Grill Mates products with in-person pop-ups at three national park campgrounds over Labor Day weekend.

The “RV Grilling Yet?” activations traveled to popular RV destinations Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and Glacier National Park in Montana on Sept. 5.

McCormick teamed with A Creative Force to design branded campsites.McCormick

“More than ever, families cherish special moments together during these unprecedented times,” Jill Pratt, chief marketing excellence officer at McCormick, said in a statement. “This Labor Day weekend, we loaded up the RV and set out with one important mission, and that was to bring the perfect flavor to grills across America’s iconic campgrounds. We wanted to ensure that every griller, expert or first-timer, had the tools and spices they need to confidently cook a delicious meal this holiday.”

McCormick partnered with agency A Creative Force to produce the experiential campaign, which distributed more than 1,500 free grab-n-go grilling kits to consumers.

The new seasonings are smoked paprika and onion with garlic and pepper; cracked pepper and garlic with sea salt; and garlic and crushed herbs with salt and pepper.McCormick

The kits for campers included the three new Grill Mates seasonings along with grilling products, recipes and tips. Select kits also offered golden tickets redeemable for future Kampgrounds stays, portable grills and coolers and grilling thermometers. Coinciding with the product launch, McCormick also released an infographic for consumers with eight grilling mistakes to avoid while traveling at the end of summer and through fall.

McCormick released an infographic of eight grilling mistakes to avoid on the road.McCormick

RVshare reports bookings have increased by more than 1,600% since April. In the company’s recent travel sentiment survey, 69% of respondents report they plan to travel in the next three months for longer than just a weekend getaway, with 63% reporting they won’t fly any time soon.

“RV travel is a seasonal business and as we look towards the fall months, we usually see reservations drop off,” RVshare CEO Jon Gray said. “This year is different. In fact, we will continue to be up significantly in bookings for the rest of the year as travelers continue to opt for travel options that give them more control and consider RVs for more than just a vacation.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, McCormick pivoted its marketing to advocate for cooking meals at home. The brand has debuted cooking shows on its social channels and Spotify playlists tailored to making different meals. Ian Zelaya is an Adweek reporter covering how brands engage with consumers in the modern world, ranging from experiential marketing and social media to email marketing and customer experience.