Hot Property: Three Ways to Activate a Farmers Market Experience

Branded farmers markets are plowing through the event scene with fresh produce—and engagement tactics

Just about everyone is on a wellness kick of some kind these days as consumers increasingly prioritize their well-being. One trend emerging from the movement is an uptick in farmers market-style events and activations that center on nutrition and education, and cater to the increasing number of people who closely scrutinize the ingredients in, and sources of, their food. Here, we look at three farmers market event strategies designed to support consumers on their journey toward wellness.

kind-x-tenure-farmers market 2022_teaserMore on This Topic:


Organic Valley Rock center farmers market_tractor installationTo celebrate Climate Week NYC, Organic Valley hosted a two-day activation at New York’s Rockefeller Center Channel Gardens, where it planted a branded farm installation, including a detailed barn, for the launch of its Protecting Where Your Food Comes From campaign, which promotes choosing climate-friendly, ethically sourced dairy products from small organic family farms. The brand brought six farmers along for the ride who hailed from family-owned Organic Valley farms around the U.S., and lent their expertise to consumers.

The public was invited to stop by and learn to milk a topiary cow from one of the organic farmers (we’re still not sure how this one worked), taste samples of Organic Valley Cheese, sign a “pledge mural” on the barn to commit to supporting small organic family farms, snap photos on a vintage tractor surrounded by wildflowers and enter to win free Organic Valley milk for a year. Supporting the campaign were OOH components, like subway takeovers, bus wraps, hand-painted billboards and bus shelters across the city. (Agency: HangarFour Creative)



Origins teamed up with trendy wellness brand Erewhon this year to create a limited-edition cold-pressed juice inspired by the adaptogenic mushrooms and other ingredients in Origins’ Mega-Mushroom Restorative Skin Concentrate. To promote the juice and skincare line, both aimed at attracting younger generations to the heritage beauty brand, the companies co-hosted a lavish, plant-based influencer brunch and farmers market experience at The Ardor in West Hollywood over the summer.

Following their elegant, mushroom-themed meal and speeches from brand executives, attendees moved to the farmers market curated by GloFlo featuring displays of the Mega-Mushroom Juice, along with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs found in the product, like pineapples, mushrooms, parsley and cucumbers, which the influencers were invited to take home. The elaborate installation inspired plenty of UGC, in addition to photos shared from the event’s dedicated photo booth.

“It wasn’t like, ‘Come here, try a product, eat some food and then go.’ It was more than that. There was ingredient storytelling and the expertise of each brand around the ingredients and why Erewhon is such a natural fit [for partnership] because they’re literally sitting in the apex of wellness culture right now,” says Melody Rault, director-consumer marketing at Origins. “The feedback we received from influencers is great because in their mind now, the last thing they think of is, ‘I’ve been to this amazing Origins event, and they let me try the product.’ We’re becoming part of their consideration set, where maybe we were not before.” (Agency: NOUN)

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Inside the Secret KIND Farmers Market 2023In 2022, Kind Snacks planted a faux vending machine in New York’s Greenwich Village that led to a Secret Farmers Market experience spanning a spacious indoor marketplace stocked with fresh, whole foods like nuts and produce—all available for free. The activation was designed to drive awareness of Kind’s nutrition philosophy and educate consumers on the importance of eating more nature-made foods than packaged snacks—a bold move considering Kind sells a broad range of… packaged snacks.

This year, the not-so-secret Farmers Market experience returned, popping up in both New York City and Houston, and once again inviting consumers to unlock the door to a colorful bazaar packed with (complimentary) nutrient-dense food, Kind products and nutrition education.

This time around, the program was built in collaboration with celebrity chef Padma Lakshmi, marking the brand’s first-ever culinary partnership. For two days at the New York-based market, consumers could visit Padma’s Kind Kitchen, a pop-up experience within the space featuring dishes created by the chef, who collaborated with Kind on the recipes, ensuring they all embodied the brand’s “nutrition principles.” It took three words to sell us on this culinary mashup: Butternut. Squash. Toasties. (Agency: Tenure)

This story appeared in the Winter 2023-2024 issue
Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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