The Laughing Cow and its house

Created in 2009 by Catherine Sauvin – Léon Bel’s granddaughter- and Beranrd Hanet, The House of The Laughing cow is built on the very site where the brand is born in 1921, in Lons-le-Saunier, at the heart of Jura. It now offers itself a new youth.
Since its opening, The House of The Laughing cow has become the reference point for the brand remembrance. It thus offers a unique view on one of the most impressive French industrial and marketing adventure of the 20th century. Beyond a museum, this house is also the place for reinterpretation of a brand values.
It therefore embodies the same generosity, the same ability for exchanges and meetings. From the first ripening workshop of Jules Bel to the connection with new markets, the scenography goes back in time through the industrial and advertising history of The Laughing cow and the Bel Group.
It broadens itself with the evolution and innovations of the Group, thus testifying of the very important dynamism of the brand and the teams making it lives. But the mission of The House of The Laughing cow, through its cultural and artistic programme, is also to surpass the brand association to combine its values with contemporary actions, and unusual events. Like an ideas laboratory, it helps to give meanings and a new depth to the Bel Group evolution, questioned by major issues for the evolution of our surroundings that are the shared intelligence, sustainable development and living together.


The original building built by the agency Reichen et Robert, elegant in its natural wood and concrete clothing, didn’t age at all, but the museography needed to evolve, in order to embody the brand and the Bel Group in a better way. To do so, a competition was held, won by the architects firm Encore Heureux, led by Julien Choppin, Nicola Delon and Sébastien Eymard. The challenge was to make a definitely contemporary and surprising house. It was in this perspective that the scenographers, in association with studio de Valence (graphic design and visual identity), the agency Ph. A (lighting), the agency BASE for outdoors grounds, under the lead of Atelier Zou (operation architects) of Lons-le-Saunier, imagined the new tour.
The 2’000 square-meter building have been entirely reallocated and redesigned, with a will to give fluidity, life, emotion, interactivity to the tour.
Visitors will be able to be surprised, to discover, to share, to live this house. The whole museography offers an experience to visitors, they are immersed in The Laughing cow universe, inside a welcoming and heart-warming house where they feel good.

There is always something happening in here !

The new House of The Laughing cow will truly be a place to share, a place to meet in a continuously questioned dialogue between historical, scientific heritage, contemporary creation and participative initiatives.

> A new historical exploration
The tour begins with the historical space of the cellars, which presents the brand adventure since its creation. From the first ripening workshop of Jules Bel, to the big advertising campaigns, 6 blocks, like suspended milk blocks, unveiled objects from the archives, period films, and documents from collections. Amazing travel through the history showing how this brand testifies of our society evolution.

> Plastic “setups” all along the tour
The tour is punctuated with a setup of 2’000 portions of Laughing cow from the very entrance, a more than 5-meter high picture rail with cow heads and a giant cheese platter upstairs. This shows the will of the Bel Group to associate with contemporary creation and allows to surprise the visitors with more aesthetical beacons.

> How to visualise industrial datas to understand them better
In the “production” zone, visitors will be able to see how complex the miniaturization of products is. An animated film directed by Delphine and Matthieu Perret dialogues
with a scale model from Studio Straat to explain the production process. At the same place, several jobs films and a packaging wall complete the understanding of this technical zone.

> Widening one vision through multimedia and video
Even if the will of this project was not to overload the visitors with multimedia devices, we chose to provide them as surprises and unique moments. The device “Time explorers” made by Merci Michel allows to go around a planet to discover the Bel universe. Another device, more moving and surprising is this screening on a 6 meter long wall made by two young directors, Thibault Oskian and Virgile Charlot, making us travel on 3 continents and meet populations.

> Jura styled devices
– Nutrition tables encourage the families to discover the good diet and to better know the foods families
– A playful facility to make objects from packages of Bel products

> Kitchen workshop
A wonderful kitchen is now opened to the groups (schools, firms, associations, families) to introduce them to the preparation and degustation of original recipes based on Bel products. Adjusted to the new concept of The House of The Laughing cow, this creative space is a mediation tool to go with the new nutritional initiatives of the Bel Group, to experience tastes, senses and the most original cooking initiatives.
Like an incubator, this place welcomes the creative initiative and process led by chefs, artists and designers in residence. It supports every initiative from startups which are thinking about tomorrow food. This space invites the residents to extend their researches in the kitchen workshop and to work from local products and know-hows.
The House of The Laughing cow kitchen workshop wants to be an exchange and dialogue,a transfer and a creation hub, between Bel Group collaborators, artists or designers, gastronome craftsmen and inhabitants in a will of intergenerational transmission.

Like a stroll, the tour wants to be appeasing, surprising, joyous, instructive. It unveils new themes (history, production, jobs, nutrition, sustainable development, sharing, meeting with populations, discovery of Bel products) and incites to change our usual pace.

Practical informations