Category Archives: food retail

Social Responsibility: raising awareness of world hunger thanks to a deliberately late pizza


We have already seen food outlets in the US doing their bit to tackle global hunger with the Halfsies initiative, which donates to charity when customers order half-sized meals. Now a risky advertising campaign cooked up by agency ONIRIA/TBWA has seen two pizzerias in Paraguay provide a deliberately slow service to raise awareness of hunger.

Teaming up with the Food Bank Foundation, the agency persuaded the “two most important pizzerias in Asuncion” to accept delivery requests from customers, advising them that the food would arrive within 45 minutes. Feigning bad service, all the pizzas were delivered much later than this specified time frame, prompting angry calls from those who had placed an order. However, when the food finally arrived, each box came with a note explaining: “When you’re hungry, you understand hunger.”

Couriers then told each customer that the pizza was free of charge, but any money they did give would be donated to the Food Bank Foundation to help those for whom hunger is a genuine fear, rather than an irritation. The idea behind the concept was to help those who can afford takeaway food to put their complaint into perspective, in return offering them a pizza for free as a thank you for taking part in the experience.

Where traditional campaigns may appeal to rational thought or emotion to convince viewers to help, the ONIRIA/TBWA campaign gave pizza customers an unusual experience they are not likely to forget. According to a Fast Company report, the campaign helped collect 50 tons of food for the Food Bank Foundation, but would you be prepared to risk permanently dissatisfying your customers for a single campaign?

via Deliberately late pizza deliveries raise awareness of world hunger and money for charity | Springwise.

6 steps towards a healthier Google Cafeteria

Much has changed since Google earned a reputation for fattening its staffers with food on demand. These days, the company is focused on advancing its healthy eating initiatives. Explains Jennifer Kurkoski, who has a PhD in organizational behavior and runs a division of Google’s HR department called People Analytics, “When employees are healthy, they’re happy. When they’re happy, they’re innovative.” google cafeteria

In pursuit of that healthiness, happiness, and innovation, Google has turned to “nudges”: simple, subtle cues that prompt people to make better decisions. Behavioral economists have shown the idea works, but Google has taken it out of the lab and into the lunchroom. This is a sampling of the encouragement you’d get during trips through the company’s eateries–and naturally, Google is measuring the results.

HARD CANDY

No longer are M&Ms in clear hanging dispensers. If you’re in Google’s New York office, you now have to reach into opaque bins. The grab takes effort; the obscuring vessel quells enticement. The switch led to a 9% drop in caloric intake from candy in just one week.

SALAD GAZE

Waiting for you as you enter the cafeteria is the salad bar. According to Jessica Wisdom, a member of the People Analytics team, studies show that people tend to fill their plates with whatever they see first. Thus, leafy greens get the most visible real estate. Desserts, meanwhile, are down another line of sight.

SIZING DOWN

While grabbing a plate to load up on grub, you see a sign informing you that people with bigger dishes are inclined to eat more. It doesn’t tell you what to do, but it affects your behavior. This simple “meta nudge” caused small plate usage to increase by half, to 32% of all plate traffic.

COLORING OPINIONS

Harvard recently revamped its food pyramid, and those lessons in metered portions have translated into a colored tag system in the cafeterias. you see green labels paired with veggies, giving you liberty to dig in. Most desserts have red ones, warning potential gluttons to proceed in moderation.

DESERTING DESSERTS

So you’ve had a bad day, and even a glaring red tag isn’t enough to discourage you from indulging in a treat. Fortunately, desserts are designed to be downed in just three bites. By making people think about having to take a second dessert plate, Google is nixing potential binges.

WATERWORKS

You’re back at your desk and thirst is setting in. You head to the kitchen. In the past, water was on tap and soda was in the fridge. Now bottled water is at eye level in the cooler, while soda has been moved to the bottom. That shift in placement increased water intake by 47%, while calories from drinks fell by 7%. Taking a sip of agua, you feel better already.

via 6 Ways Google Hacks Its Cafeterias So Googlers Eat Healthier | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

At Babochki Anticafé, patrons pay by the minute

At Babochki Anticafé consumers pay nothing for their refreshments. Instead, they arebabochki anticafe 1 charged by the minute for the time they spend there.

The Concept

The concept is quite simple yet striking: customers pay one ruble and 50 kopecks for each minute they stay. Drinks and snacks, on the other hand, are free.

Aiming to create a space where consumers can relax and pursue their favorite diversions, the venue offers tea, coffee and desserts at no charge, and patrons can bring their own refreshments as well. An assortment of board games are on hand for entertainment, meanwhile, as are Xbox games, wifi and a cinema hall.

As in our ECOFFEE’s projects, the café (or Anticafé) has been designed as a place where conversation is central and where people can meet and spend time together – a place where people pay for entertaining themselves.

via Free food and drinks at Moscow café, where patrons pay by the minute | Springwise.

NEW: Objects without barcodes scanned at supermarkets

Toshiba Tec has recently created the Object Recognition Scanner, which reads items without the use of barcodes.

According to the Japanese company, barcodes can sometimes fail to register with scanners in supermarkets, leading to longer waiting times for customers and requiring checkout assistants to enter the code by hand. DigInfo report that the Toshiba Tec scanner, which is still in development, uses alternative technology which scans items based on their appearance, doing away with the need for barcodes altogether.

This is particularly useful for fresh produce, where barcodes are often absent. The firm says the device processes items based on color and pattern and is nuanced enough to tell the difference between two types of apples. It can rapidly separate the object from its surroundings and can scan items when they are in motion.

The video below from DigInfo offers a demonstration of the device in action:

via Supermarket scanner recognizes objects without barcodes | Springwise.

Where is the future of coffee shops? EVERYWHERE!!

We have never agreed that much to a future scenario such as the one depicted by Steven Gordon of the Speculist. Gordon writes about the “coffeeshopification” of many public venues –  bookstores, museums, libraries and retail stores. His point of view is very interesting to the projects we have been developing so far with DESITA and ECOFFEE.

Here it is what Gordon writes in his very interesting article

Universities Will Become Coffee Shops

As reported by TreeHugger “The traditional university lecture is a completely anachronistic institution; there is no reason my Ryerson University students couldn’t watch my lectures on their computers at home or in a coffee shop. Most do; rarely more than 50% of the class shows up, because they know I post the lectures on the school website. As you can see in the photo above, even the students that show up have their noses in their computers. It is all a silly leftover from the days before books were printed and were too expensive for students, so the lecturer would stand up at the front and read from them. The reason for showing up these days is for, as Gordon notes, to “seek tutoring, network, and socialize.”- pretty much a big coffee shop.”

Book Stores Will Shrink to Coffee Shops

Ebooks are coming of age – for many reasons. You can keep your library in your pocket. You can annotate and share your thoughts within social networks. Writers can publish more directly to their audience. Once completed, the unit cost of each ebook sold is essentially $0. Those savings can (and sometimes are) passed on to the customer. Also, an ebook doesn’t have to be limited to the written word. An ebook can incorporate video, audio and other methods of presentation. Your book store is always with you and has every book ready to sell. Nothing ever goes out of print because there are no print runs.

Compare that with your local Barnes and Nobel. Those stores are huge but can accommodate only a small fraction of the titles available in the Kindle store. They require expensive real estate, buildings, and employees.

If you don’t like reading from an ereader, there are new on-demand printing options like the Espresso Book Machine that can print a book within minutes.

Between ebooks and print-on-demand, Barnes and Nobel sized stores shrink down to just their coffee shops – or maybe Starbucks takes over their business. Either way, custormers keep the experience of reading with coffee and those big comfortable chairs.

The Coffee Shop Will Displace Most Retail Shops

My Christmas shopping this year was 90% through Amazon Prime. Not having to fight the crowds and having it delivered free of charge to my home is a big plus, but as with the Kindle store, the online retail selection is much better that even the largest retail outlet.

Which is more enjoyable: Starbucks or Walmart?  For the sane: Starbucks.  So if you can accomplish your Walmart shopping at Starbucks, why do it any other way?

Also, imagine the 3D print shop of the future. You put in your order, probably from your smart phone, and then go pick it up. What does the lobby of such a business look like?  Again: a coffee shop.

Offices Become Coffee Shops… Again

We’re going back to the future: the modern office was birthed in 17th century coffee shops. Steven Johnson has argued that coffee fueled the enlightenment. It was certainly a more enlightening beverage than the previous choice of alcohol.

The need for offices grew as the equipment for mental work was developed starting in the late 19th centuries. That need appears to have peaked about 1980. It was a rare person who could afford the computers, printers, fax machines, and mailing/shipping equipment of that time.

Now a single person with $500 can duplicate most of those functions with a single laptop computer.  So the remaining function of the office is to be that place that clients know to find you… and that kids and the other distractions of home can’t.

Going forward the workplace will need the same sort of flexibility that I described for education. Groups for one project will form and then disband and then reform with new members for the next project. What will that workplace look like? Probably closer to Starbucks than Bob Par’s cubicle.

What will remain other than coffee shops? Upscale retail will remain – people paying as much for the experience as for the goods purchased. Restaurants remain. Grocery stores remain.

Brick and mortar retail stores will be converted to public spaces. Multi-use space will be in increasing demand as connectivity tools allow easy coordination of impromptu events. Some large retail stores will be converted to industrial 3D printer factories. These heavy-duty fab labs will fabricate products that are too big or complicated to fabricate at home.

Bringing nutritional advice directly to consumers’ table: Tanita Shokudo

In Tokyo, Tanita Shokudo offers a way to bring nutritional advice directly to consumers’ tables.

The brainchild of Japanese health device manufacturer Tanita Corp, Tanita Shokudo provides expert culinary information about all items on the menu, aiming to help those wanting to eat out without compromising their diet plans.

Each table is fitted with a weighing scale to ensure healthy portions can be measured out, while a timer tells the diner when the optimum duration of 20 minutes for completing their lunch is over. Professional dieticians are also on hand to provide free advice on eating regimes in a special counselling room.

Tanita Corp has tried and tested the concept in its office cafeteria and it has proven successful enough among its employees to roll out to the public. Lunch options come from the company’s successful cookbook, which first introduced Japanese food lovers to healthy set meals of 500 calories or less.

Consumers are becoming ever more health conscious and nutrition transparency in restaurants is a trend that has grown around the world, but the mix of a good-for-you lunch alongside professional dietary advice takes these services to another level. Could this be picked up in other countries?

via Japanese cafeteria offers diners in-depth advice on health and nutrition | Springwise.

SAPORE Trade Expo: a Tasting Experience

The next event in our hectic February agenda is SAPORE Tasting Experience (at Rimini Fiera from 25th to 28th February) is more than a trade expo. It is the event dedicated to all those wanting to know the future of foodservice for eating out.

At its disposal, there are eight halls of the west wing of the Rimini expo centre for updating on tastes, rites and trends in a world with a continuously changing demand. The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for 10.30 am on Saturday 25th in the south foyer. Maurizio Melucci, Emilia Romagna Regional Councillor for Tourism, will take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Two important events will follow: the assignment of the 2012 Innovation Awards for the most innovative products on the market and the appointment with the inauguration conference organized by Fipe Confcommercio. Business unit manager Patrizia Cecchi confirms, ´Rather than a showcase, SAPORE will be a real… tasting experience, thanks to the new products on show and the countless appointments to innovate the Horeca channel´s business (show cooking with award-winning chefs, Sapore University courses, guided tasting sessions of wine and Italian craft beers, fresh and dry pasta and brewery specialities from all over the world, as well as conferences to analyze the latest trends and the presentation of interesting successful cases in the foodservice world.´

The expo therefore features a complete showcase of products and technologies from the world of catering, pasta, beer, seafood, pizza, oil, wine, regional specialities and frozen produce. Each of these sectors will be represented by the excellence of the enterprises and their proposals, alongside events and opportunities for discovering first-hand new experiences of business formats. Approximately 400 foreign buyers are awaited at the exhibition, where they will meet exhibitors according to an agenda scheduled online during the days before the expo.

This is a very effective innovative system for increasing opportunities for business between companies and foreign markets, as well as optimizing buyers´ visits to the expo. Among the key events, the Large-scale Distribution Buyers´ Day scheduled for Monday 27th and dedicated to the new trend ´AYCE´ All You Can Eat – the format with which restaurants charge a fixed price for access to food, then allow customers to consume as much as they want at no additional charge) and the debut of the Sapore Chef Grand Prix Contest

SAPORE 2012 will be held with the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, Emilia-Romagna Regional Government, Rimini Provincial Government and CNA Alimentare.

And if you had already planned to visit the SAPORE exhibition, please  know that we will be there the whole time meeting prospects and clients. It will be a great pleasure to meet you in person: just send us an email at norman|at|desita|dot|it to set up an appointment.

Lack of co-operation may kill Retail Sustainability Projects

In 2007, Tesco’s CEO Sir Terry Leahy pledged to track and put carbon labels on all the chain’s products as part of a “green revolution,” but has backed off the plan

In February 2011, Leahy called on governments around the world to work more efficiently with private companies to ensure that low-carbon growth innovation is not unnecessarily hindered by bureaucratic red tape. Now it seems, the lack of cooperation among companies to help defray the costs of carbon labeling contributed to killing the program.

Tesco told the U.K. trade magazine The Grocer it planned to discontinue the program after and wind down the project after finding research for each product involved months of work. Currently 500 of Tesco’s products have carbon labels while more than 1,000 have been researched.

“We expected that other retailers would move quickly to do it as well, giving it critical mass, but that hasn’t happened,” Tesco’s climate change director, Helen Fleming told The Grocer. But other retailers failed to get involved or share information to help reduce the costs of the program, making it to costly to continue.

Tesco was named the best U.K. company for its efforts in tackling climate change by the FTSE 350 Carbon Disclosure Project in 2011 and was awarded top retailer globally for two years running. The retailer opened its fourth zero carbon footprint store in January.

The chain may be backing off the labeling program for now, but hasn’t given up its commitment to the concept. “There are an enormous amount of companies that research the carbon footprints of their products,” Fleming told The Grocer. “But how do you ramp that up to the top level? We now need to make the right long-term decision and we’re talking about what we do next.”

via Tesco Gives Up On Carbon Labeling – Green Retail Decisions.

A ScenSational discovery allows you smell the aroma right from the packaging

Patent-pending innovation EncapScent, which has been developed by US-based ScentSational Technologies, will enable food and drink companies to add food grade flavours to packaging to convey the brand aroma, the company has claimed.

The coating, which can be added in-line, can be engineered to release an aroma at different stages; when picked up from the shelf, during handling, opening, use or consumption.

The intensity of the activated scent, which is intended as short-term aroma, can also be adjusted based on the client’s preferences, ScentSational Technologies added.

The company is working closely with flavour houses to make custom flavours for individual applications. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved flavours are then applied to the packaging outer-surface and remain dormant until activated by the consumer.

Scented coating

“A scented micro-encapsulated coating (MEC) is applied to the outside of the packaging, after filling or assembly,” ScentSational chief technological officer Steven M. Landau told FoodProductionDaily.com.

“The aroma is protected by a microscopic cell, that when handled ruptures and releases the scent. There are millions of cells on each packaging application so cells can be ruptured and the scent released over and over again.”

“The coating can be applied on the production line. So with beverages we can apply it to the bottle, the cap, the label. It can be applied to any shape on the filling line.”

The development is safe for use with food, beverage and pharmaceutical products. It is not directly exposed to product ingredients and is compliant with food packaging regulations, Landau added.

“For food we are only using FDA approved flavours. These will not interact directly with food. If applied on the outside of packaging, it can improve and enhance aromatically.”

Client ‘wish list’

The innovation, can also be used to enhance the taste of the product during use or consumption, was developed in response to client requests for an inexpensive way to convey product aroma.

“We had our customers coming to us with a wish list. That was the origin of the development,” Landau said.

“We have been asked for many years to develop technology like this. We have tested it and it can even be adapted to ice cream. It’s a real game changer for frozen foods.”

“Until just recently, the sense of smell has been the most neglected sense in brand marketing strategies. Of the five senses, smell is the most powerful in driving consumer preference, conjuring up memories and creating purchase intent. As a result, our customers have been asking for a lost cost technology to deliver aroma from the shelf,” Landau added.

via ‘ScentSational’ packaging coating delivers food or drink aroma.

U.S.A Supermarket Food Trends for 2012

Americans love their foods – in supermarkets, on television, at restaurants and now even on their mobile phones.  But there is little doubt that in the coming years, we will continue to see food prices rise based on environmental conditions as well as higher production costs. 

Many of the savings tactics most shoppers deployed in 2007 as the recession began are still being used each time they shop for groceries – using coupons, frequent shopper cards, shopping lists, shopping at non-traditional foods stores and even trading down their choices to less expensive brands are part of the regular routine.  Following are the top ten food trends predicted for 2012, according to Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert.

TREND #1: FOOD PRICES

Look for consumers to shave costs by augmenting their recipes by decreasing the amount of the more expensive meats and seafood and adding more non-meat proteins that are filling and less expensive, including whole-wheat pasta, tofu, lentils, brown rice and vegetables to recipe.  Expect shoppers to use their mobile devices to calculate a price per portion cost rather than the unit price of individual products listed on the shelves. Just as the younger generation uses social networking as part of their everyday lives, expect this generation to be the “forever frugal consumer” using more coupons (higher than any other demographic) and searching for deals on line (63% spend 3 hours or more each week – double that of any other group).

TREND #2: SHARED FOOD EXPERIENCES

Apps like Foursquare, GoWalla, Living Social and Yelp have shown how “group” is better than “self.” Expect to see super food apps that bring previously unknown people together with common likes; to eat, prepare and shop together.

TREND #3: BOOMERS CONTINUE TO INFLUENCE

The generation of 76 million who started turning 65 years old last year will control 52% of the total $706 billion spend on groceries by 2015 – making them the largest food influencers and purchasers.  Expect supermarkets to cater to the Boomers, not only by offering the foods, beverages and services to satisfy their growing interest (and need) for health — but to take a good look at the physical shopping experience, to make sure that the aisles are wide, to lower the shelves and most importantly to make them feel welcome and respected.

TREND #4: INCREASED EMPHASIS ON ‘FARM-TO-FORK’

Shoppers have become increasingly interested in knowing where their food comes from and how it is produced, which is why 2012 will bring an added emphasis to a different kind of food celebrity — the farmer.   Expect to see more advertising and television programs starring these real food experts (vs. actors pretending to know their food).

TREND #5: THE END OF THE CHECKOUT LANE

Many shoppers are learning to appreciate the tech-savvy nature of self-checkout – the ability to compare prices at nearby retailers, cell phone scanners, in-store interactive media devices, QR codes, RFID and mobile coupons.  For many shoppers high-tech adds to personalization with suggested purchases and targeted offers based on their histories in the store, which is typically delivered in a functional way.

TREND #6: ETHNIC FOOD REVOLUTION

Food trucks are replacing gourmet and specialty stores as the channel to experiment and discover new food experiences — especially when it comes to ethnic foods.  More often than not, these ethnic food trucks are actually manned by descendants of the actual cuisines and cultures being offered; with the ability and knowledge to share the heritage and romance of the food — a benefit many shoppers have come to enjoy and expect from shopping at Farmers’ Markets for produce.

TREND #7: THE MALE SHOPPER

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 41% of men are now doing the food preparation as compared to just about half that amount in 2003.  Because of the economy, more men are at home, suggesting there is an opportunity for marketers to engage men who are taking on the role of family caregiver.

TREND #8: EATING AT HOME, WITH A TWIST

With continued pressure on the economy more men and women will be choosing to eat at home to save money, which has happened before – but this time around expect a twist. Think of it as Xtreme Home Cooking where, following the lead of Extreme Couponers, these everyday cooks pride themselves on making the most for the least.  Look for food groups to form that cook together, crowd sourcing in the kitchen if you will, with the same primary focus on cost – shopping, cooking, eating and storing leftovers in bulk.

TREND #9: REDUCED SUGAR INTAKE

Sugar has been an ingredient that has been the center of a lot of debates, especially as the latest update on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends reducing the amount of added sugars of all kinds (especially in soft drinks.)  Look for reduced-sugar products to be the biggest health claim in the coming year along with a revised Nutrition Facts Panel.

TREND #10: THE SOUND OF FOOD

Consumers judge the readiness of foods like microwave popcorn or burgers on the grill by the sounds that these foods make. They judge the freshness of carbonated beverages based on the sound of the gas escaping the container as it opens, and the duration of the sound of the bubbles as they pour. Multisensory perception will be one of the new “food sciences” in 2012 as psychologists and food scientists join forces to design, create and influence the sounds of our foods to convey freshness, taste and even health attributes.

via Supermarket Guru Predicts Top Ten Food Trends for 2012 | Marketing Forecast from Ad-ology.