Food companies create digital and physical brand museums
The recent rise of immersive epicurean experiences reflects a nascent desire among young consumers to interact with brands in ways that feel less transactional. In an extension of this trend, culinary companies are creating museums that allow visitors to engage with their brand in fresh ways, both online and off.
This summer, Cheetos invited the public to be a part of its official digital Cheetos Museum celebrating the “art” that can be found inside each bag of the beloved orange snack. Since its launch, the museum has had over 15,000 Cheetos fans-turned-art-curators submit unique shapes that they've discovered—for instance, Cheetos resembling Abraham Lincoln or the Loch Ness Monster. Snack enthusiasts can vote for their favorite shapes online through August 31st, and the fan whose submission receives the most votes will have their find unveiled as the pièce de résistance, earning them a $50,000 grand prize.
Land O'Lakes' new museum dedicated to agriculture, The WinField Crop Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms, opened this June in Fair Oaks, Indiana. In keeping with the brand’s ethos as a farmer-owned company, the museum was launched with the intent of educating consumers about agriculture and creating more transparency within the industry. The family-friendly space features attractions that take people beneath a farmer’s fields, where they can see and touch the world of bugs, roots, seeds, and soil. It also includes an educational component; visitors can learn how farmers, agronomists, and many others help feed billions of people around the world.
Hormel Foods officially opened its SPAMMuseum in Austin, Minnesota last month as part of the company's 125th anniversary celebration. Between the soft opening in April and grand opening in July, the 14,000-square-foot space attracted nearly 50,000 visitors eager to check out the interactive exhibits and galleries exploring SPAM's popularity around the globe and its history with the U.S. military. Highlights included a set of bluegrass instruments made of SPAM cans, a 12-foot SPAM rocket, and a SPAM can conveyor suspended from the ceiling.