Category Archives: Product Design

Tastes in Sweets, Reinforcing Understanding of French Consumers – Five Months in Bourgogne VII

The other day I was at a birthday party where two examples of Mexican sweets were distributed to a mainly French Group of people.

The first was a thin tube approximately 4mm in diameter and about 8cm long, filled with a rather bland tasting heavy jelly. It was very hard to eat and didn’t attract or repel anyone and was simply dismissed.

The second was a completely different story!


photograph by ChigyTweeter

published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

Sandigomas is a very different sweet shaped like a watermelon slice, it has a very strong jelly texture. Burt its the taste that had the French hating it! They used all sorts of adjectives like bizarre, horrible and worse and were quick to make their comments.

The first flavor is chili, which is quite strong and persists for several minutes. Thereafter the jelly has a strong acidic flavor but without any strong watermelon or other fruit flavor. That’s after your tastebuds get over the chili.

This little episode is quite a nice reflection of, I would say, the majority of the French who see themselves as authorities on food (this was no doubt this wasn’t a sweet), always sticking to their rules (the use of chili in a sweet breaking the sweet and salty rule) and not very willing to try things with an open mind (no one tasted it as something different as I did, which allowed me to see a different and interesting taste).

Maybe a bit sweeping from this one example but really reinforcing my conclusions of the last few months. Of course this kind of understanding of the market is critical in reaching the consumer.

Technology Entreprenure to Next Big Takeout Restauranteur?

So can a technology gadget entrepreneur succeed with a brand new concept in the take out market. Jonathan Kaplan introduced the flip cam to the consumer multimedia sector. The cheap and simple video camera, which served a particular need, was a big success until smart phones began to provide the same functionality.

At this stage Kaplan sold the company to CISCO Systems, who have since suspended production.

Kaplan is applying what he claimed he learned with the Flip Cam to The Melt.

He claims that The Melt uses new cooking and ordering technology but that the main benefit comes from integration and the inputs of top experts. The three focuses of the business are top staff, the simpicity of the business (five melts and 5 soups) and the brand – see him explain this in the video below.

The question is of course – is this how successful businesses are established and run and is the food scientists role to develop the toasters to the founders specification and maybe translate the food quality / safety systems that authrorities and suppliers provide

Customised Chewing Gum Packs

Here’s a novel idea for the promotion of a standard chewing gum – allowing your customers to design their own packs producing celebration or company promotion gifts.

MyExtra Gum | Create customized packs of gum just for you

from: Wrigley
(click image for full story online)

The personalised pack of gum costs $4.99 compared to the standard pack that costs around one dollar.