We had a short morning workshop today which concentrated purely on the idea generating stage of the design process. We were introduced to the concept of design thinking in business. Which is really introducing the idea of trial and error and re-evaluation not in a design context. Then we were introduced to an issue. that of insect eating. this is something that is common in many eastern countries and has many benefits. they have a very low protein to fat ratio making them much healthier than all meat products. They are also much more environmentally friendly to farm and take up much less space than many plants.
In teams we were given the task to come up with a way to get people in the UK to consume more insects and not simply as some bush tucker gimmick.
We started by using post it notes and writing down what we felt the problems were and what was stopping English audiences from getting on the band wagon. There were lots of reasons, mainly the social stigma that surrounds insects any way and the way so many phobias stem from insect based origins. Mostly there is just this cloud of negative feelings that surround the whole subject of insects let alone eating them.
So we needed to create acceptance of something very new and in such a way that was positive and exciting. We started talking about the way eating insects was part of the culture in thailand and japan and many other countries besides. This could be our route in. So many restaurants play off creating an experience that is reverent of the culture that the food comes from and many people love the experience of trying new things. We talked about the existing chains that do this: Wagamama's and Yo Sushi were two of the first that came to mind. And how different are raw fish and insects?
This got us thinking about how in the right environment people are much more likely to try something new, especially those who already frequent chains such as those mentioned above. They go there to try something new.
We also went down to the cafe to do some primary research and asked people if they would like to try some insects. We saw a correlation between people in groups and being more open to trying something new. This works well with the whole restaurant setting, people often go out to dinner together.
We then started to generate ideas, and went through many iterations of protein supplements and other health approaches but eventually settled on the idea of a branded addition to the menus of Yo Sushi and Wagamama's. They would be interesting dishes that worked well in flavor terms, and would come with a small information card about where the insects came from and the environmental of eating them.
Although we didn't come up with a brand we did come up with the name XO. This worked with the idea that we wanted to glamorize the idea of eating insects and make it desirable the same way sushi has become. The XO comes from the exoskeleton of the insects.