PHOTOS: Exposures Ltd.
Every year, Organic Valley produces a bumper crop of more than 200 organic foods, from buttermilk to bratwurst. But over time, the exhibits for the La Farge, WI-based cooperative of organic farmers had come to resemble a cattle stampede, with herds of visitors jostling to find haphazardly displayed products.
With a stylized plywood barn as its focal point, this 30-by-30-foot exhibit for Organic Valley extolled the company's co-op farming roots while highlighting nearly 100 products in an organized display.
For the Natural Products Expo West, Organic Valley worked with MG Design Associates Corp. to end the disarray and to extol its eco-friendliness. Guests entering the exhibit gravitated toward a stylized barn constructed of eco-friendly, stained plywood that served as a focal point for the 900-square-foot booth. Measuring 14-by-29.3-feet, the neo-rustic edifice held three meeting rooms, divided by plywood walls with noise-absorbing acoustic panels, which were covered in burlap. Within each room, wall-mounted, acrylic-front cabinets held dozens of products.
Similarly, surrounding a 17-foot-high branded, galvanized-aluminum silo located in one of the booth's corners were three clear acrylic display cases holding nearly 100 products that staff could show attendees without clogging the middle of the booth. Thus, in the exhibit's center, guests could relax at six widely spaced tables made of plywood countertops supported by barrels comprising galvanized metal. On top of the tables (and in various containers around the booth) were planters containing strips of pasture land brought in from a co-op member's farm. The sod represented the purity of the company's products and tied to its recently introduced grass-fed milk product.
Reinforcing the company's reliance on renewable energy was a white, 16-foot-high, aluminum flag pole that functioned as a wind turbine: Three real 4-foot-long turbine blades on it spun lazily, powered by a custom motor. The result of Organic Valley combining discrete product showcases with nods to its ecological endeavors was a 36 percent increase in product samples served compared to the previous year's show – proving that exhibitors, like farmers, reap what they sow.E