Stacks of soda cases emblazoned with familiar logos are carefully assembled and stacked to create massive mosaics of popular comic book icons inside a Kelowna, B.C., grocery store.
The larger than life depictions of Batman and Joker on display at the Save-On-Foods at Orchard Plaza have gained national recognition and drawn enormous response on social media.
Eric Falkenberg, the man behind the soda box sculptures, recently bagged two awards for his towering portraits at the Grocery Innovations Canada exhibition and conference held this week in Toronto.
The Master Merchandiser awards honour and recognize the best merchandising in the grocery industry.
Falkenberg, who works as an assistant operations manager at Save-On-Foods, now has eight of those awards to his name.
“It’s great to win these competitions, they are a lot of fun and provide a lot of room for creativity,” he said.
Falkenberg has been building soda box sculptures for over six years. His intricate 3D mosaics have included colourful displays of Santa Claus and the Grinch, as well as a giant Ogopogo.
His latest Halloween displays, the massive portraits of Batman and Joker, required about 3,000 boxes to complete, and have now gone viral.
Featured VideoEric Falkenberg’s soda box display depicting Batman has gone viral, with over 1.9 million views on TikTok. The assistant operations manager with Save on Foods in Kelowna, B.C.’s Orchard Plaza shopping centre has been creating larger-than-life displays for the last six years, winning accolades for his merchandising.
Falkenberg said a video of his sculptures that was shared by a local radio station now has over 1.9 million views on TikTok.
“I think I will create a TikTok channel, too. I have never had an account before.”
Falkenberg’s passion for creating impressive temporary sculptures began six years ago when he entered a competition.
“Coke had announced a $1,000 contest and I took part in it and won,” he said.
He designed a polar bear clutching a Coca-Cola for the contest and has been hooked on the craft ever since.
“I went to college for civil engineering,” he said — a fitting academic background that lends itself well to his craft.
Falkenberg said some of his structures require wood and steel frames to support the giant displays and a lot of planning. One of his most ambitious works was a full-size commercial transport truck. Made with 5,000 Coca-Cola boxes, the project took Falkenberg more than a month to build.
“A lot of people think I use computer graphics to design but it’s just pen and paper,” he said.
He usually starts by making samples on a piece of paper and then asks big soda brands to send the boxes.
The boxes come empty and flat, so a chunk of time is spent folding them into shape.
Falkenberg said he also receives plenty of help from his colleagues at Save-On.
Steve Cartwright, who works in security at the store, said a lot of staff like to get in on the action.
“[Falkenberg] spends weeks building them at his home then we go pick them all up and bring it here,” he said. “It takes us about three to four hours to set them up in the store.”
Falkenberg is already planning “something big” for a Christmas display, which he promises will be a feast for the eyes.
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