Visual cues play an instrumental role in forming a consumer’s opinion of a product. Value is communicated at all levels of a consumer’s experience with a product, from the way a package is designed to the fonts used to write product descriptions. Food brands use their aesthetic to capture the emotions they want to elicit from consumers. That’s presentation.
The First Lady’s proposed updates to nutrition labels wholly embraces the idea that design is about communicating value. New font sizes draw the eye to calorie counts. Creating an additional line to call out added sugars in foods gives the consumer more information about where the flavors in their food are coming from. And a two-column panel puts greater emphasis on Percent Daily Values. These changes make a clearer connection for consumers about what goes in to their food products, and how those ingredients impact their overall health.
We’re in the era of transparency. Consumers have access to a depth of story, an understanding of sourcing and distribution; a transparent look at the whole brand. Products and services are attainable. Brands are pioneering this by giving consumers bountiful access to their decision making process, their sourcing standards, their company thesis. People want access to more information instead of less.
There is an inherent decline in quality when people aren’t aware of the process. This is true in food, too. In the 100+ years the USDA has been making recommendations on diet, we’ve seen countless changes in what’s thought to be “good” nutrition. Early iterations of food guidelines simply highlighted nutrient adequacy, and didn’t make recommendations around calorie consumption. In the mean time, we’ve seen the rise of countless fad diets claiming to be the one stop shop for an eater’s nutritional needs.. There is so much noise, it’s hard to distinguish from what’s true and what’s marketing hype.
With Michelle Obama’s announcement of the proposed changes to nutrition labels, the era of transparency has finally come to the food label.
Updating serving sizes to reflect what people actually eat and calling out added sugars gives consumers more – and better – information about what they’re eating.
“This will be the new norm in providing consumers with information about the food we buy and eat.” – FLOTUS
Just days after the Seattle Seahawks put a beating on the Denver Broncos in the Superbowl, athletes descended on Sochi, Russia to fight for national pride and physical superiority in the Winter Olympics. We’re surrounded with examples of athletes in their peak physical shape.
How do these athletes achieve pick-six speed or mogul gracefulness of a feather?
Sponsorships and TV commercials lead viewers to believe it was a Big Mac and copious soda pop, or a late night pizza washed down with a bionic energy drink. Athletes themselves have us believing that they eat this junk on a regular basis too!
Placing blame on a consumer food company for trying to sell products or on athletes for taking an endorsement deal is misguided. It’s up to health and wellness brands to fill the gap.
This is an open challenge to health and wellness brands: Create a brand that gives athletes the opportunity to endorse healthy products. Have the ubiquity of an international presence and the cache to stir emotion. Represent a lifestyle so compelling that the alternatives are seen as compromises.
We’ve been hard at work all year developing, testing, and tasting 5 new flavors. They will be officially launching in stores and online in January 2014!
Want the first taste? Pre-order a sampler pack (12 single serves and 1 12 oz. bag) from our web store through January 15 and receive 15% off your order using the code NEW2014. All orders will ship the week of January 16.
Thanks to all who came out and supported our Q4 Food Summit last Wednesday! A huge thank you to Christina Wodtke and Na’ama Moran for speaking, and to the Four Seasons for opening up their beautiful MKT Bar to us. Due to some technical difficulties, we unfortunately don’t have any photos of the event. We also had a last minute itinerary change – Nait Jones’ daughter was sick – so Na’ama graciously stepped in and saved the day.
Christina kicked off the evening with a great talk on taking an idea from concept to reality, and thinking about design from a 360 degree standpoint. A designer is not simply focused on aesthetic, but empowered with knowledge of desired form, optimal user experience, and ultimately positive function. Christina’s next book, The Executioner’s Tale (working title), will be published soon and is sure to be a good read. Pictured is her first book.
Na’ama followed up with a great entrepreneurial discussion around finding pain points (which are actually opportunities) and building solutions to address them. The food space is ripe for disruption, and Na’ama detailed how her company Sourcery, is a platform for food buyers and suppliers to connect directly with one another without all of the middle men. This leads to more collaboration, open communication, and supply chain transparency.
This was the 2nd iteration of our experiment in bringing together some of the best minds across food, tech, design, distribution, etc. to discuss the future of food and what that looks like. In so doing, we hope to encourage connection and conversation that may not otherwise occur. We’re looking forward to the first Food Summit of 2014, in April. Find out more by joining our Food Summit list here.
Dan Miskie has always been a hobbyist. Trained as an architect and professor, he also paints with watercolors, meditates, and gardens. Oh, yeah, and makes granola. After being diagnosed as a pre-diabetic in his 50’s, Dan looked at the food he had been eating his whole life and realized that something wasn’t right. The stuff that was supposed to be nourishing him was actually making him ill. So he did what he had always done: he tinkered. He spent 12 years developing and perfecting a granola recipe, with cinnamon almonds, and molasses notes, roasted to develop the natural flavors of the ingredients, reminiscent of his childhood in rural Wisconsin.
Making his own healthy, freshly roasted granola transformed Dan. He lost 40 lbs and is no longer pre-diabetic. His story inspired his son, David, and David’s childhood friend, Matt, to build a brand and a business around better-for-you snack products. San Franola Granola was born, with Dan still at the helm as our architect of granola, tinkering in the kitchen to develop new flavors that taste great and are nutritious.
Last week, we took to our Instagram account to preview our 5 new flavors. When we took a moment to look around, we found the colors of our packaging in the colors of San Francisco!
Are you ready to gather with some of the best minds in San Francisco to talk about the future of food? Our guest list has filled up with everyone from food-tech innovators, designers, and investors to press, retail buyers, and service providers. Know someone interested? Bring ‘em! The more heads together, the better. Click here to RSVP!
At 6 PM sharp, the Four Seasons MKT Bar will fill with some of the city’s best & brightest – trade business cards, compare sales slicks. Grab yourself a cocktail from the cash bar and make a new connection.
At 7 PM, our two experts, Nait and Christina (bios below), will give their talks, leaving plenty of time for discussion and questions.
At 8 PM, we mingle again! Chat with someone who asked a great question, or share your great idea for a new product.
At 9 PM, it’s time to part ways again. Everyone will be filled with energy, excited to reunite in February at WeWork to continue the conversation.
Naithan “Nait” Jones is the founder and CEO of AgLocal His dream: to match independent and family meat farms to the wholesale and retail buyers who want to buy their meat directly. Nait will be speaking on the challenges of working on a startup that deals in tangible products and that disrupts existing established distribution models.
Christina Wodtke is an itinerant instigator and maker of things to happen. She is currently on sabbadical, advising start-ups and gardening. Most recently, she led new product development and reinvention as a general manager at Zynga. Christina is the founder of Boxes and Arrows, an online magazine of design. She’ll be sharing her observations on how design communicates credibility and quality to consumers.
Click here to RSVP!
+ Miami Heat superstar Chris Bosh played in the Olympics, has had cameos on Entourage, and thinks you should learn to code. Oh yeah, he was in the National Honor Society in high school, too.
+ How do you get people to buy healthful food? Michael Moss makes a compelling argument that it’s all in the marketing.
+ Speaking of marketing, what do you think about the juice cleanse craze?
+ This is nutty: due to growing worldwide demand, the price of walnuts and almonds has skyrocketed. Thieves recently stole $400,000 worth of walnuts from a ranch in the Central Valley.
New York, New York – A city so nice, they had to name it twice. The same goes for coffee. We were so impressed by Dallis Bros coffee that we decided to hang around in New York for one more bag of beans. This time, we turned to Vassilaros & Sons coffee.
Greek immigrant John Vassilaros founded Vassilaros & Sons Coffee in 1918 after apprenticing as a coffee salesman and roaster. Today, the 3rd generation of Vassilaros sons runs the roaster in Queens, emphasizing quality, authenticity, and service at the forefront of the brand.
We tried their 1918 Downtown Sumatra, a beautiful dark roast that was earthy and cacao-like. Unlike most dark roasts you find these days, these beans weren’t charred – instead, they were roasted to their peak. Highly recommend.