I think I'm posting this story more for the beautiful webpage, copied below, than the technology story – who said food science was dreary? The beautiful colours alongside the clinical structures is appealing. Lets not worry that it's about flavours not colours!
click the image to visit the website
In seriousness, the scientists have been evaluating thousands of flavours. With around 2500 already approved and these 7 being banned for human use. The 7 substances which are mainly natural compounds from plant sources, have been used in the food industry for many years. The affected parties, such as flavour manufacturers, note that there are no negative effects evident from their moderate consumption over the years.
I bought this interesting packet of potato chips (crisps to others) a few days ago as I was interested to see the face of a white housewife seemingly advertising chips on the supermarket shelf.
photo by Dave Harcourt (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License)
However it turns out to be something quite different which seems to me to be an interesting take on product design.
Simba have set up a competition allowing consumers to design their own flavours and submit these for consideration. The competition brought in 180 000 suggestions which were reduced to 20 and eventually the 4 winners now appearing online ready for your vote.
(click the image to open website)
There was also competition on the supplier side with flavour houses being challenged to come up with flaours for the new products.
The winner will receive R 200 000 and 1% of all sales of the product for its life. The public voting for their preferred flavour can win weekly prizes of R 500 and two prizes from the final draw of R 50 000.
What do I think about it? – a brilliant marketing and product definition exercise but unfortunately although the Look up and Run Chicken had a new and interesting flavour, any taste of snoek or achaar were missing from Brendan Johnston’s chip!
By the way Walkie Talkie in this case refers to chicken heads and feet! which are also called Look Up and Runs. So a nice South African feel to the competition!
It will be interesting to see how it develops from here. Let me know what you think of this and watch this blog or subscribe to the RSS feed to hear how this develops.