consumablearts
* Re-inventing Packaged Goods | 彻底改造包装消费品 | La revolution des produits de grande consommation

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Foodie 500

The Foodie 500 is a sensor for emerging trends and powerful ideas. Visually delicious and with a serious appetite for analysis, it is designed to help make smart and strategic decisions informed by the culture and experience of food. A hybrid of strategy review, trend report and irreverent food journal, each quarterly issue of Foodie 500 spans a broad mix of topics and aims to inspire innovation in today's increasingly crowded and competitive business environment.
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What's in My Grocery Bag?

The "What's in My Bag" meme—popularized on Pinterest and Tumblr and imitated by everyone from Us Weekly to Golf Digest—proves to be a remarkably insightful research tool while at the grocery store. In laying out and arranging the contents of a shopper's grocery bag, the unexpected and complementary product combinations that we see in this shop-along for the age of information helps us understand customer complexity, construct personas and unlock key consumer attitudes, behaviors, and habits.

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Food Performance

Where process becomes product, where R&D becomes marketing, where making becomes magic—that's food performance. In the innovation economy, value is created not only from the 'magical' effects of a good product but also from the beauty of that product's inner workings, the processes involved, and the hack-able elements that push it to change and evolve. How will chemistry influence food futures? Imagine your favorite snack or dessert. Now imagine in it as a completely different state of matter. Would you inhale a candy bar flavored mist? Enjoy a fine cocktail in ice cream form? Reverse-engineer your favorite fast-food at home? Food performance is quickly becoming a go-to source for innovation inspiration in the CPG world.

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Packaging Play

A great product has always been the best form of marketing. But the most successful products push ideas far beyond function. Idea Couture helps clients design winning products with unique stories and social cues baked into the packaging experience. From early sketches and form explorations to final graphics and commercialization, marrying product design with brand thinking offers an opportunity to bring distinct positioning to life in an unexpected way that stands apart on shelf and in the hands of customers.

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Brand Comebacks

Everybody loves a good comeback story. To revive a fading brand, looking to those that have successfully staged bounce backs is an essential first step. Understanding how, when, where and what factors drive a successful re-stage not only inspires, but can also guide future growth tactics. Facing declining categories, commoditization, new competition and evolving industries, once-loved brands like Campbell's Soup and Levis have found ways to navigate the challenges of today's tumultuous marketplace. These comeback brands take a moment to assess their environment and reconnect with consumers. They tell stories that create connections and trigger latent emotions. They draw on cultural trends and rich consumer insights to ultimately reinvent product or service offerings, to re-ignite their core brand and to establish a new pathway forward.
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Immersive Excursions

For years actors have been utilizing method acting techniques to better understand their characters. By immersing oneself into the day-to-day life of a character - in a sense striving to become that person - the hope is one can more readily understand the thoughts and feelings the character might possess. At Idea Couture, we subscribe to a similar philosophy in our ever-evolving aims to better empathize with consumers. From contextual interviews to immersive journeys, our past projects have taken us from nightclubs to book clubs and everywhere in between. With an eye to creating more meaningful offerings, we are continually striving to develop new creative approaches that break down the walls between researcher and subject to help our clients experience what it's like to walk in consumers' shoes.

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Innovation Roadmapping

Often misinterpreted for a simple product pipeline, Innovation Roadmapping is much more than the act of plotting ideas on a timeline based on feasibility. At Idea Couture we employ Innovation Roadmapping as a strategic exercise that’s one part category foresight, one part prioritization framework and one part implementation guide. At its best, the roadmap helps teams assess platforms against business objectives, set commitments, establish key milestones and gain alignment across stakeholder groups. It’s the set of guidelines and guardrails that provides collective focus, while allowing the day-to-day flexibility to navigate short-term market shifts with an eye to the future.

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Crowd Funded Food

Crowd funding sites are the perfect breeding ground for innovation. As open platforms for creative ideas, sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo attract a large number of visionaries and supporters that represent a mini market of makers and early adopters. In this Scan, Idea Couture focuses on crowd funded food projects for insight on market gaps and whitespaces, as well as cultural shifts and trends in the food and beverage space. Whether successful or unsuccessful in receiving full funding, we look to these projects to stay on the pulse of food as it evolves to meet emerging consumer needs, attitudes and behaviors.
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Edible Prototyping

For food innovation to take flight, it must become real for customers and consumers - where insights and ideas translate into tangible products in-hand and at the shelf. Edible Prototyping at Idea Couture does just that by pairing its award-winning innovation team with a hand-selected group of chefs, nutritionists, bio-chemists and mixologists to bring early food product ideas to life in a way that stakeholders can see, taste, feel and smell.
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Interactive Map

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Ethnography of Place

People have deep relationships with places and spaces. Our cultures, identities, stories, beliefs, memories, passions and practices are all deeply embedded in the real and imaginary locations in which we live, work, play, shop and eat. Today, the global micro-geographies of food and dining are more open, multi-directional and socially shared than ever before. From new dishes to foodie subcultures to the omnivorous quest for authentic experiences, they shape how we feed, describe and express ourselves. Companies that understand the rich intersections between people, places and food will be better able to innovate faster, better and tastier.

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Fresh Beauty Futures

What are the cultural dynamics that will influence the world of beauty in 2030? How will product ecosystems change? And what will the competitive environment look like? As part of a feature in IC’s quarterly magazine, a team of brand and foresight strategists speculated on the cosmetics industry’s future brandscape. Unpacking this means, of course, looking at a broad range of emerging signals of change. Rather than focusing solely on the technical innovation in the space, we were interested in the social and cultural drivers that could determine future attitudes and practices around cosmetics. The result - the bathroom of the future may end up looking much more like your kitchen.

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Experimental Food Futures

Experimental Food Futures is a collection of food-related innovation articles assembled from past issues of M/I/S/C - Idea Couture's quarterly design thinking and business innovation magazine. M/I/S/C/ is organized around four key concepts: Movement / Intuition / Structure / Complexity. Its purpose is to explore and identify new creative territories and new ways of thinking about art, design, strategic innovation, social innovation, behavioral economics and beyond.
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The Mommy Workbook

Universal yet personal and global yet private, Motherhood is one of the most paradoxical and transformative human experiences. Life altering, identity-changing, exhausting, exhilarating and joyful, motherhood represents a shift of being that impacts one's sense of who they are and their relation to the world around them. Drawing on ethnographic insights collected by Idea Couture's Resident Anthropologists, as well as emerging territories defined by its Futurists, this workbook is an exploration of the experience of Motherhood.
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The Millennial Dictionary

Want to know what makes Millennials tick? Listen to them. Vocabulary can tell you a lot about this elusive generation. Just remember that it's as much about what they say as how they say it. The Millennial Dictionary examines five key words that have risen to the forefront of Millennial parlance. See how diving into what language means and how it's deployed reveals powerful insights about a powerful generation.
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Mixology Culture

For years in cities around the U.S., the definition of a great night out has been a preciously handcrafted cocktail. We are more knowledgeable now than ever before, refusing to drink just anything that is offered to us and spouting off about egg whites and bitters whenever we can - except when our mixologist has requested our avowed silence. The cocktail professionals in this document may differ in their opinions on what makes a great bar tick, but they share a unified understanding of the importance of simplicity. For them, the future of spirits, like cocktail bars, is 'simple', social and fun.
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Opportunity Mapping

Opportunity Mapping is a sense-making exercise that helps collect, connect, and cluster consumer insights, cultural signals and relevant market findings into a variety of thematic directions. Part organizational tool, part ideation framework, Opportunity Mapping typically occurs after the Insights and Immersion phase to help structure findings and force teams to organize and prepare for idea development. Here, territories are commonly evaluated to ensure that potential product ideas derived within particular spaces can be credible to the brand, appealing to consumers, differentiated from a competitive perspective and feasible for the business.
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Oreo Lego

Oreo Cookie Lego was conceived and designed as a collaborative effort between Idea Couture's anthropologists and industrial designers through the synthesis of consumer ethnography, global scanning and sensemaking exercises. The branded prototype captures and communicates the essence of what we believe is (or can be) the driving force behind a legacy food brand: play, performance and the joy of combining ingredients into food and taste experiences. By separating the ingredients of this favorite childhood product into a self-directed, constructible product, Oreo Cookie Lego introduces new meaning and behavior to a legacy brand as well as new memories and engagements into early childhood food and kitchen experiences. When used collaboratively, it brings parents and children together in ways that only kitchen fun can.

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Weirdie Bean

The brainchild of Scott Friedman, Idea Couture's Chief Innovation Officer, Weirdie Bean is a case of practicing what you preach. The idea originated as a simple twist on one of the world's most popular beverages: coffee. Having discovered that unroasted green coffee beans boosted metabolism and offered a wealth of other health benefits, Scott rolled up his sleeves and began experimenting with small batches of lightly flavored green coffee. Meanwhile, the Idea Couture brand team quickly drew up a name for the beverage and playfully positioned the wonder drink as coffee's eclectic cousin. After a round of rapid prototyping and home production, the beverage was introduced and put to the test at the next Idea Couture all-staff social where the team captured feedback on all aspects of the product. Stay tuned for the next iteration.

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Pop-up Labs

Today, the lines between research and customer experience are increasingly blurred. Social technologies allow consumers to provide feedback in real-time. So winning brands are taking a launch-and-learn approach to new product development, asking people to participate early and then refining accordingly. One part rapid contextual research, one part soft-launch, Pop-Up Labs offer a micro-targeted look at how a new product or service will be received in market. These limited-run research experiences are designed to garner contextual user feedback and measure consumer reaction on the fly, gaining real world insight into how the product experience, story and marketing approach are being interpreted and socialized in the wild.

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Retail Theatre

Amidst today's commoditized competitive environment, retail remains one of the leading opportunities to express what truly makes a brand different. At Idea Couture, we believe brand should inform end-to-end experience design and aim to satisfy the increasingly sophisticated palette of consumers. The world of theatre offers us an inspiration point in experience design - where every touchpoint is an opportunity to awaken our audience through the creation of remarkable interactions and rewarding services. Through this creative lens, we design full sensory retail concepts that anticipate the customer journey and activate our clients' brands in unique ways suited to the spaces and places they will live.

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Live Food Media

With the mainstreaming of foodie culture and the emergence of food as a new spectator sport, Idea Couture identified a media gap in the live food space and began experimenting with ideas in this territory. As one creative entry point, the question was asked: what if there was a destination for live, ongoing access to the world’s greatest food markets? The result was Bazaar MarketVision- a digital prototype that showcases the live, universal and connected nature of fresh food. Potential features included vendor cams that provided exclusive live access to prominent market vendors, real-time market tours, live international cooking battles and connected interactive screens on the market floors.

why us

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We're culture junkies—foodies, photographers, commentators, artists, and design fetishists. We believe that to truly grasp consumer goods, we must first understand consumer culture. Our global research team, made up of anthropologists, sociologists, futurists, technologists, and design researchers is constantly immersed in emerging trends and behaviors. We're continuously scanning for weak signals across cultures and industries with clients as diverse as Pepsi, World Bank, Samsung, TD Bank and Burberry. Our insights lead to structured sense-making, purposeful ideation and breakthrough products that create real value for our partners.

To learn more about our people and process check out our Main site.

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