We perform quick studies in an effort to determine the state of the art of certain technologies and to identify areas of opportunity for our clients.
Our consumption behaviors are evolving, as are our expectations in terms of experiences. We monitor these changes fueled by technological, societal, environmental developments, and assist retailers and manufacturers in creating and implementing innovative responses.
The consumption of energy is a crucial challenge to reduce our impact on the environment. Fuel, heating, water consumption... we imagine the most relevant solutions to integrate in the daily lives of users, at the scale of the home, as well as that of global transport.
Craftsmen and artisans create enormous worth but today are too little valued. In preparing for the arrival of a new generation of trained craftsmen, by creating services to ease their daily lives and reduce their environmental impact, we are committed with our partners to return the glory that they deserve.
Knowledge of health is evolving rapidly, sometimes creating a gap between professionals and the general public. We support healthcare stakeholders in educating consumers and developing their understanding of complex, new subjects.
Traditional boundaries of the beauty market are expanding. It is in these emerging territories where we find ourselves: new targets, new approaches, new ways of self-care, that create opportunities to create new products, new brands and new business models.
We use our methodologies to launch new brands and startups, or imagine new positioning for existing brands, in order to maximize their potential.
The lack of social connection, notably outside large cities, is becoming more and more important with the disappearance of traditional and/or public resources. We have worked on 2 projects regarding the design of spaces meant to foster these connections : to simplify the lives of people in troubled times or to unite a community around the values of travel, in connection with a product launch.
We invest in new technologies to bring transparency and traceability in the carbon offset market.
The energy transition depends on the technological advancements in the field of renewable energy. Unite industrial chains at the EU-level, give visibility to research, open laboratory doors for companies to imagine new technological applications: this is the ambition of projects that we have led with the Photovoltaic Institute of Île-de-France.
Reducing the plastic that we consume everyday is essential. But finding viable alternatives that truly make sense for the environment, the consumers and the industries is a challenge. It is the work that we regularly carry out with our clients in the field of food, drink, and cosmetics.
Foster new modes of food production, more sustainable alternatives, services to facilitate better nutrition... We support changes in our diet impulsed by new health and environmental matters, by rethinking products and their distribution models.
Our drinking habits around the world have evolved: new aspirations and preferences are emerging, at the crossroads of local cultural influences, industrial and technological innovations, and a troubled ecological and social landscape. We have followed these developments on a wide global scale to draw up a landscape of the corrresponding opportunities.
More than ever, corporate social and environmental responsibility is being noticed by the public eye. Through a co-creation approach, we help our partners to define a CSR strategy with concrete and achievable objectives as well as a differentiating ambition for the future.
We collaborate closely with our clients to try and understand their culture, current needs and ambitions. We apply our transparency principles with them as well as mesure their satisfaction to create truthful partnerships.
At Possible Future, we are creating a working environment that promotes inclusion and diversity. We want to reflect the diversity of world where we create lasting innovations, so we are focused on having a positif impact from the start of the recruitment process. Each person's differences are essential and enrich our work and working environment. We are committed to advancing a culture of inclusion that allows each person to be fully integrated, share ideas and opinions, and reach their full potential. We guarantee everyone equal opportunity to employment irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, social status, handicap or age.
We assisted Société Générale's in-house entrepreneurs in launching their startups.
At the end of 2017, Société Général launches an Internal Startup Call : an operation designed to foster entrepreneurial momentum within its teams. The call mobilizes a total of 15,000 people. 114 starts are pre-seletcted during the Pitch Day, on February 16 2018. More than 60 projects are finalists, then grouped into 3 classes.
Among these 60 projects, Société Générale entrusted Possible Future with 4 start-ups, to provide them support during 6 months. The objective? At the end of the program, launch a new product in the form of a startup, or re-integrate the projects into existing business units. In parallel, train and embark the teams in the Possible Future methodology, which will boost the projects and take them to the top.
“The Internal Startup call is for us a great opportunity to question our management methods, even as we work to develop new ways of working in the Group, to stay more agile, more collaborative, more horizontal” Frédéric Oudéa, CEO of the Group.
Operations are conducted in two stages. Two projects are carried by our teams from June to December 2018. The next two start in September 2018 and extend until the end of March 2019.
The support provided to Société Générale’s internal start-ups consisted in two main aspects:
In total, to support those 4 beautiful projects we mobilized a group of 15 people with a wide range of expertise: user research, strategic planning, engineer, software, branding, product and service design, UX/UI…
At the heart of the method, the personalized support. This depends on the stakes of each project and each team, in order to give them all of the necessary tools and information for a successful launch.
At the end of 6 months of coaching, there is real future for the 4 projects : all of which are still under development today at Société Générale, in the form of side projects or within business units. For our coaches, the adventure continues as many of them are still integrated today in the strategic decision-making committees of these promising startups.
This project demonstrates the relevance of the Possible Future methodology to hatch entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial projects, whether from a corporate program, or directly from the teams themselves within large groups.
For Thomas Chappuis; director of the Internal Startup Call, “Possible Future has offered a high quality support unanimously recognized by the supported startups.
2 specifications : tailor-made – 1 coach appointed per startup – and à la carte – thematic workshops chosen directly by the intrapreneurs according to their needs. This adaptation, as close as possible to the need, is a key factor in the success of the approach and has made it possible – a rarity among the 17 partner acceleration programs – for the 4 projects to be continued”
internal expertsfrom the Possible Future studio mobilized on the projects.
of transformationfor these 4 startups incubated by Possible Future following the support program.
monthspersonalized support for each project.
We imagined and launched a place to unite a community around the discovery of the cultures of the world, in connection with the values of a new Danone product.
To support the 2018 launch of their product line “Les Danone du Monde” (“Danone of the world”), Danone wanted to create a community of people passionate about the discovery of cultures and travel. Their goal was to go beyond a punctual marketing campaign and create an authentic, long-term experience driven by the the values inherent to their new brand: openness to the other culture, exchange, and social gathering.
During our exploration phase at the beginning of the project we focused on understanding how communities evolve. This was a vital step as it helped us identify the crucial elements needed in order to reach a maximum of people in a meaningful way: we understood that we needed to stay true to the brand and its values, and we needed to do this in a fully transparent way.
In addition, staying true to our own DNA as Possible Future meant that our goal was to create a service that was economically viable. This is why, all along this project, we identified the most relevant business models that would actually allow to make the project sustainable for Danone.
After 2 months of exploration and ideation, we pitched the “canteen of the world” (La Cantine du Monde in French) to Danone. We imagined a “canteen”, a physical space, in the heart of Paris – to gather people who share a passion for the discovery of new cultures, for travel, but also for events, theme-based dinners and cooking classes. In this space visitors would also find the “Danone du Monde” yoghurts. However, these products were not not the center of attention, but rather a vector to carry our message.
We first launched a prototype of the canteen during december 2017, to confirm our hypotheses and to clarify of positioning of our brand as well as the types of events we were going to host. After this first test Danone decided to take the project forward – and gave us the green light for a 6 months adventure during which we operated La Cantine du Monde, in rue Notre Dame de Nazareth in Paris.
The experience we created has been focused both on our offline and online presence, driven through our facebook page and our instagram. Thanks to these social networks, the canteen was able to maximise its resonance and reach an audience of more than 250K users.
During these 6 months we collaborated with the startup Meet My Mama who turned out to be an ideal partner – both in their business activity (catering service for our weekly dinners, highlighting a different country every time) and how they are in perfect value alignment with Danone.
Thanks to Meet My Mama the “Canteen of the World” was able to enter the next phase: We handed over management of the space to them so that they can continue their adventure with Danone – and maybe replicate the model in other places in France!
communities analyzed in detailImmersion in several communities (food, sport, travel...)
days of testWith a first place and events gathering more than 350 people and an online community of 3,000 users.
square metersSize of the place found and set up in 1 week in Paris
diners and brunchsOrganized during our 4 months of exploration
people reachedmonthly reach of online publications
We imagined and tested a site waste management and recovery service for building craftsmen which resulted in the launch of a start-up: Les Ripeurs.
With a rapidly evolving building renovation sector, the role of the craftsmen is changing: end-users who are becoming prescribers on their building sites, a need for more and more advice, regulatory changes to be aware of, digital devices settling in … For La Plateforme du Bâtiment, this led to having to rethink the support they offered to craftsmen. This is reason why La Plateforme du Bâtiment asked us to imagine a new innovative service, aimed at their craftsmen clientele.
During our exploration phase, we identified a key pain point in the daily journey of craftsmen: managing waste on construction sites.
Evacuating rubbish, cleaning construction sites, and bringing bags of rubble to rubbish dumps are painful, expensive, and time-consuming tasks for craftsmen, which prevent them from focusing on their core business. Some services exist for the evacuation of rubble, but they are not always adapted: not flexible enough, and not adapted to the constraints of urban renovation sites (waste in rubbish bags, often high up on building floors).
Existing solutions are so unsatisfactory that craftsmen are turning to illegal disposal solutions: it is estimated that 40% of waste produced by construction sites ends up in wild dumps.
Based on this insight, we imagined, prototyped and tested the service Les Ripeurs. A rubbish bag disposal service for building professionals, ultra-flexible and ultra-responsive: intervention on demand, in less than 3 hours.
After 4 months of project, we had:
At the end of our mission, together with La Plateforme du Bâtiment, we decided to launch this service as a startup. 2 months later, the startup “Les Ripeurs” was born, offering its service in the distribution network of La Plateforme du Bâtiment, in Paris and in the suburbs.
For its first year of operation, the startup accumulated a turnover of 350k€,which represents 1700 tons of waste collected. 40% of this waste has been revalued. As proof of its potential, the incubator Paris&Co selected the startup in its 2018 Social and Solidarity Economy cohort.
Our ambition doesn’t stop here! In 2019, we want to:
tons of wastecollected in 1 week by the team during the "in-vivo" test, during the prototyping phase.
AMTime at which the team woke up to get rid of the rubble for the first customers during the prototyping phase.
people hiredin one year of operation of Les Ripeurs to support the growth of the activity.
clientsmainly construction professionals.
We imagined, with d'Aucy preserves, how to support farmers in the process of converting their crop to organic and upgrade their production.
In June 2018, d’aucy briefed Possible Future on a mission addressing challenges at the brand’s the cooperative’s level. What was it about? The future of organic.
Building upon the need to create canned organic produce that meets consumer expectations, d’aucy asked us to imagine and create new outlets for organic vegetables in order to motivate farmers to transition from conventional to organic farming. In fact, we are witnessing an increasing demand for organic produce in France, and the number of transitioning farmers isn’t growing at a fast enough rate to support it.
With this brief, we embarked with d’aucy on a multifaceted journey, with potential impacts on both consumers and farmers.
Our exploration phase allowed us to explore the upcoming challenges of the organic sector, for the people who will be eating the produce … but also for the farmers growing it !
Our discussions with farmers and experts from d’aucy allowed us to understand the underlying issues with transitioning to organic farming and the challenges holding farmers back :
In order to build the future of organic farming and meet the increasing demand, the key is to minimize the risks taken by the farmer when transitioning from conventional to organic farming systems.
That’s why after two months of exploration and conceptualization, we presented to d’aucy the concept of a new product line of in-transition organic vegetables, sold online :
In June 2019, after internalizing and reworking the concept that we had presented, d’aucy invited consumers to participate in creating this new line of “in-transition organic” vegetables : they were asked to help select the first vegetable to be marketed, along with its container, label, price (and the amount paid back to farmers) and method of distribution.
With the launch of this line, d’aucy is the first player in the food industry to implement such a strong initiative aimed at raising awareness of the general public around the transition from conventional to organic systems. This is an essential first step and is accompanied by a plan to support members of the cooperative to empower them to transition to a more environmentally-friendly agriculture.
Since the fall of 2019, we can buy those d’aucy vegetables co-created with consumers. We are very proud to have accompanied d’Aucy in the development of this new line of in-transition vegetables.
farmers and experts from d'aucymet during the first phase of the project in order to understand what is at stake in transitioning to organic systems.
consumerssurveyed online. 30 qualitative interviews were also conducted.
growthof organic product sales between 2011 and 2016
farmersdecided to transition to organic systems in 2018 : an all-time record !
future organic farmersneed to transition in the next 5 years in order to meet consumer demand, according to Biocoop's president, Orion Porta,
We designed and then launched with Onatera a new brand of nutri-cosmetics whose patented ingredients are derived from scientific research and evolve with the seasons.
We imagined and then prototyped a solution for Saint-Gobain to make collective heating fairer and more sustainable, today on the market: Temperly.
In the first trimester of 2017, CEDEO – Saint-Gobain group – approached Possible Future to conduct an in-depth reflection on its model. Indeed, in an extremely competitive market, shaken by the arrival of new entrants – for example purely digital players – it is urgent to differentiate oneself for a highly sought-after target : the professional heating businesses (300-400 SMEs in France).
An evolution of legislation particularly challenges Cédéo: The Law of Energy Transition, which imposes individualized heating costs, in the buildings heated collectively.
In the end, Possible Future was asked this question: how to transform this constraint into opportunity, to create an innovative and relevant service for Cédéo?
For this project, the team begins by thoroughly exploring the market, consumers, technical and legal issues. It is during this first phase that they construct a highly detailed consumer journey of the clients (the artisans) and users (trustees, landlords), that enables them to identify all the innovation opportunities around the problem.
In the case of repartitioning the heating costs, the complexity is two-fold :
Everything must be differentiating enough to allow Cédéo to stand out in a consolidated market among 4 major actors.
Our conviction? We must promote the national heating professionals, and put them at the heart of the service, so that they become prescribers to their own customers.
The design phase therefore brings out a service based on Cédéo’s extensive network of customers, SMEs and heating professionals, to widely distribute a heating cost allocation service, in a manner that is completely transparent to the end user. The concept allows each household with a collective heating system to keep track of their consumption and their heating expenses, hitherto indexed to the area of the home.
Once the outlines of the service have been drawn, the prototyping phase aims to concretely achieve:
The solution we imagine takes the form of a turnkey installation and operation of dispatcher devices, provided by the heating engineers to the trustees and managers. The pros are responsible for the installation and maintenance of the box containing the dispatcher, soldered on each heating device. The data is then collected and processed, and allows billing of heating costs based on the actual energy consumption per household.
Thanks to this new service, the trustees and individuals do not change the interlocutor, and the pros add a string to their bow, without additional administrative management.
The business plan, the creation of brand identity, commercial materials, documents and contracts are quickly assembled – then, taken over by the teams Cédéo, Temperly is born! And with it a service that is:
d'eurosThe estimated 10-year amount for the dispatcher market...
energy saved... noticed thanks to the use of dispatchers
We imagined, prototyped and manufactured a water fountain with Evian to consume mineral water at home while also considerably reducing the amount of plastic disposed.
This objective translates to profound realizations regarding their production methods of bottles, in particular to reduce the quantity of plastic per liter of water, of consumer hydration habits, and consumption of natural mineral water.
It is on these challenges that the water brand asks Possible Future teams to dive deeply, to reinvent the way of consuming mineral water at home, in a more eco-responsible fashion.
Passionate about the proposed problem statement, the team starts their work with an in-depth immersion phase : interviews with US and France consumers, meeting with experts in the drinks and nutrition sector, detailed benchmark of technologies and innovations in the relevant sectors (water, bottle production, as well as packaging technologies, distributions methods, delivery services for direct-to-consumer…).
This month-long phase allows us to the precisely define the consumer journeys, their expectations and demands, perceptions, and pain points that they encounter while consuming bottled mineral water. Two specific key points guided the following phases:
These findings guided the team to create solid concepts during the ideation phase : beginning very broadly (urban distribution points, connected bottles, store recycling solutions, reusable formats, self-owned stores…), the direction gradually turns towards a fountain designed for the home, along with direct distribution services and coaching services. For validation, the team prototypes and tests the concept with several consumers in Paris and New York. This phase of in-vivo testing is to validate many elements of the concept (physical form of the fountain, delivery service, packaging material, personalized programs, automatic commands..), in order to determine, thanks to the feedback from consumers, the best value proposition and design. This leads to 3D-printed fountains prototypes, connected via Arduino and a mobile application developed alongside cardboard packs in a few days, that are then installed at consumers’ homes for the first test.
As a result of the test, the project keeps going forward on the side of evian®, and enters a new phase of development for preparation of a pilot.
This phase is both an occasion to integrate, at the heart of the concept the fountain worked on by Possible Future, and innovative technology developed by evian® R&D : a recyclable-PET bubble that uses 66% less plastic per liter of water than the classic 1.5 evian® bottle. The Possible Future teams have used their skills in product design and manufacturing to continue to support marketing and R&D at evian® on various aspects of the product : industrial design, materials and colors, electronics, software…
This fountain combines:
The device is currently in the pilot test phase. In September, 200 consumers in Paris and London will be able to preview the fountain and service.
Patricia Oliva Elorza, Global Brand Director evian® explains: “The collaboration with Possible Future allowed the teams to test new innovation methodologies; by looking for an outsider’s perspective that allowed us to challenge certain convictions we had internally. With this agile team with the same drive as our brand, we were able to accelerate our capacity for innovation.”
For Thomas Papadopoulos, President and co-founder of Possible Future, “This project is representative of the realized work by Possible Future for clients in the consumer goods industry facing a pressing need to (re)invent in order to address the environmental and societal challenges of this century.”
less plasticThe water in the bubble will be contained in 66% less plastic material per liter than the 1.5 liter bottles.
testersThe bubble arrives in September 2019 at the doorsteps of 200 Paris and London homes for a first small-scale launch.
monthsThe duration of the first phase of investigation, product design, and prototyping.
recylableThe entire bubble material comes from recyclable plastic (r-PET).
We designed, tested, launched and co-host the Ressourcerie with Malakoff-Médéric Humanis: a community center to provide relief and support to caregivers.
It is in January 2019 that the department dedicated to social action at Malakoff Médéric Humanis approaches Possible Future. The mission? Challenge the reality of the support provided to individuals who assist their non-autonomous relatives in their daily lives: the precious “caregivers”.
This challenge immediately echoes the DNA of Possible Future since it is very oriented towards the development of a project with positive social impact.
Concretely, the organization wishes to give visibility to its many psychosocial support services, which are often little known. A second major challenge quickly expands on the initial brief: reach a large audience that does not always recognize the “caregiving” role. The benefactors, including children, adults and elderly with disabilities or loss of autonomy, often consider the role as fulfilling a duty resulting naturally from a filial or marital link.
Starting from January 22, 2019, brief in hand, Possible Future opens the first phase involving 2 months of exploration and conceptualization. Bringing together a few representatives from Malakoff Médéric Humanis and a panel of 15 volunteer helpers quickly enables our teams to direct prototype the project and to precisely define the value proposition in co-creating with the target users, caregivers and non-caregivers.
Workshops are dedicated to the definition of the services to be implemented and the positioning of the final project, which are followed by more workshops centered around the modeling of the future spaces that will give body and substance to the concept.
Our teams have also looked into the question of the economic model that can guarantee the viability of innovative social support such as this one. The track favored by Possible Future quickly becomes that of co-financing: a place of support, which brings together several actors and also different sources of income.
At the client’s request, our teams also propose a method to evaluate the relevance and impact of the different components offered. A matrix of 40 quantitative criteria and interviews with the social action officers will make it possible to measure the real impact of the project at any time and to justify its raison d’être.
This warm, inviting space, accessible to all, opens its doors on the 1st of April 2019 at the heart of Bordeaux, 2 months after the launch of the project at Possible Future.
Here, no scary desks, stigmatizing hospitality, or out-dated decorations…the place is not solely reserved for caregivers! The Resourcerie is a soothing place, punctuated by a calendar of activities offering walks, workshops, relaxation, artistic activities … and also a place to come for a coffee, read, discuss, rest and to take your mind off things.
If needed, the hosts of the Resourcerie can also count on the help of a specialist in social aid, aware of the particular psychological burden they face.
The first 3 months since opening has allowed for the testing of the functionality, service offerings and economical model of the location. The different hypotheses are successively put to test on the field, during “sprints” of a week. The opportunity to quickly check the effectiveness of a communication channel, a subscription to activities, the availability of the venue in the evening, etc.
And what’s next?/strong>
We hope to see the Resourcerie multiplied in other French cities! In the meantime, if you go through Bordeaux, come visit us :).
monthsThis is the time elapsed between the initial brief and the opening of the first version of Resourcerie in Bordeaux.
m2The total area of this third place, which contains several living spaces.
millionscare-givers in France, 64% of whom do not recognize themselves as such.
We support the start-up Inuk: a service for companies to offset carbon footprints in a direct, traceable, local and impactful way.
Accompany the development of the start-up from its first POC all the way to commercial success.
contracts signedin the first 2 months within the studio
introduction to the communityand support in the network integration
We designed an innovation with P&G to optimize water consumption, particularly suited for areas subject to water scarcity.
With Intermarché, we designed, tested and completed a pilot run of a refrigerated chest with a connected lock to collect grocery deliveries at any time of the day.
We have launched a start-up aimed at accelerating the restoration of coral reefs through play: Cryptocorals.
It all started with passion from a member of Possible Future. For two years, this diving aficionado worked with the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology and coral reefs’ deterioration worried him. In some areas of the globe, corals may become extinct by 2050.
Degraded corals are bad omens for the entire ocean ecosystem as well as for humans who directly depend on them. This is why Possible Future had a strong urge to put its experience on challenges and innovation for the benefit of coral reef restoration. And we did!
CryptoCorals is Possible Future born and bred. No client for this project, but the initiative of two of our members, encouraged by the opportunity given by Possible Future to launch projects that we are passionate about. Our startup studio was crucial as an investor and incubator of this grand idea.
From September 2018, two distinct objectives were clear. First, we wanted to provide this crucial, yet often ignored, cause more visibility. The second leitmotiv on this project was more pragmatic: the goal was to generate a system capable of raising funds to restore damaged reefs and compensate the lack of funding for these actions. Our vision : replanting 1 million corals by 2021.
The project is elaborated exactly as it would have been if briefed by a client: after an in-depth immersion and exploration of the opportunities (how the gaming market and the donation ecosystem work, coral reefs problematics …), the team started a designing and conception phase before moving on to beta testing with real users.
They quickly identified the channel to give life to their ambitions. Saving coral reefs will be:
Transparency is indeed the major concern of potential users, so it will have to be profoundly rooted into the design of the system. Anything involving donations involves information… That’s precisely where blockchain, as an open book that anyone can verify and that no one can modify, appears to be the obvious technology.
In December 2018, four months after the beginning of the project, 200 sea-friendly gamers started playing and testing the first beta version.
The idea is simple, the user adopts one or several cute corals for about 10 dollars each. He or she can then play with their CryptoCorals, breed them with other corals to create super corals with incredible genetics (and real good looks!). Specialized marine researchers work in the same way on real-world reefs. Online, the virtual corals are created thanks to generative design logics, capable of generating an infinity of unique corals. That’s why each time a coral hatches, it’s unique and specific to its user.
And of course, the money paid to adopt virtual corals is used to plant a live one. Behind the fun interface, blockchain operates to transfer the funds to qualified NGOs, working relentlessly to restore coral reefs. CryptoCorals’ first partner is Secore International who has divers working on rescuing endangered reefs in the Caribbean and the Bahamas.
Beyond corals, CryptoCorals is the first step of rethinking donating – making the most of blockchain technology – and promoting biodiversity in our economy, thanks to playful interface. We believe at Possible Future, that leveraging technologies, such as blockchain, can help us tackle today’s environmental challenges and we want to steer our investments in projects going the same way.
We imagined and then launched with System U a new school to train in butchering trades: the School of New Food opens its doors in September 2020.
We built and tested the first machine for storage and bulk distribution of yogurt in store.
In October 2018, Danone’s Manifesto Innovation Accelerator (MIA) team approached Possible Future with a brief. The mission? Develop a way to sell yoghurt in bulk and test it in real life.
We jumped at the opportunity to work on another project with Danone, this time to create an inspiring new offering that would allow people to buy yoghurt in the quantities that are convenient for them. We were also excited about the potential environmental impact of the project: reducing food waste, and reducing the amount of plastic packaging used. Self-serve yoghurt already exists for on-the-go, immediate consumption, but a bulk, self-serve replacement for yoghurt you’d buy at the grocery store was a novel and interesting challenge. We were eager to tackle the unique and complex aspects of distributing a fresh, dairy product in bulk : yoghurt storage and handling, consumer perceptions, and retailer considerations were just a few of the challenges we were faced with as we developed this project with Danone.
From our research, we could see that retailers were looking to compete with online retailers by improving customers’ in-store experiences through offers involving customization, bulk distribution, and environmental/social good. In particular, with the success of the bulk-only grocery chain Day by Day in France and the explosion of bulk offerings in general grocery stores like Auchan, we could see that bulk purchasing had become more than just a curiosity. Narrowing our focus to yoghurt in particular, we found that people wanted to buy in bulk because it allowed them to :
These 4 aspirations were at the forefront of our decision-making process as we thought through the design of the solution – we designed and built 2 different iterations of the prototype, with each cycle taking about 3-4 months.
1. Reduce food waste and environmental impact
The carton cups we provide are recyclable, but in order to go even further, our machine is also compatible with a large range of reusable containers! Our system also reduces the amount of yoghurt wasted by allowing people to choose the exact amount of yoghurt they need and by presenting the use-by-date clearly and prominently on the sticker.
2. Experience something fun and new
One of the most important aspects of any product is the user experience, and we wanted to present shoppers with an approachable, fun, and easy-to-use machine. The white, curved panels are inviting and friendly, as opposed to cold and utilitarian. The cups are positioned at a comfortable height. Using the machine is simple and intuitive – simply open the transparent door, place your cup inside, and push the button to start dispensing yoghurt! We added a screen to give people a live estimate of the quantity, and we also added lights that illuminate the inside of the cup to allow the customer to visually see how much yoghurt they’ve dispensed. After dispensing exactly the amount of yoghurt they want, they simply take their cup out and a label is automatically printed and presented to them to stick onto their cup – right now, this label provides key information such as the recommended use-by date and storage temperature, but we imagine that other information such as barcode, price, and weight could also be added to this label in the future. The user takes a lid from our custom lid dispenser, and voila! They are now ready to pay at the counter and enjoy their yoghurt!
3. Choose the perfect quantity
We knew that there would be a wide range of users and use cases, from parents wanting to bring home and store a large quantity for their kids to teenagers wanting to grab a healthy bite to eat on the go. Our machine allows customers to buy the perfect amount of yoghurt for their particular use case by providing different cup options (2 different sizes plus option to bring their own), direct control over the amount of yoghurt, and clear feedback on the quantity by illuminating the inside of the cup and by displaying a live quantitative estimate.
4. Enjoy a fresh and natural product
A fresh and natural product required a refrigeration and storage solution for the bulk yoghurt, so we worked with Danone to repurpose and upcycle one of their existing machines that already had this functionality. Our engineers and industrial designers were excited by the challenge of reusing a machine that already did part of the job and integrating it with the rest of the machine to deliver the experience that they had imagined for the user.
Testing a product with real people in a real environment is the best way to validate that it meets their needs and to collect feedback for further improvements. We designed and created this second version of the prototype specifically with in-store testing in mind, and while our team was working hard on bringing the physical prototype to life, the MIA team was able to find a perfect partner and product for our 2-week pilot test:
Wednesday, June 19th, 2019, was the first day of the test, and so far, the feedback has been extremely positive! We’ve already surpassed many of our initial sales estimates, and we’ve received a lot of feedback through discussions both in store and online that will help us improve the product going forward (see Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber’s post on LinkedIn). In particular, many people felt strongly about being able to use reusable containers as opposed to the single use carton cups we provided during our test. We would also like to make some design changes to make the user experience more intuitive and to improve the usability of the machine for the store employees.
Overall though, many customers have been happy to see a fresh product offering at day by day, and it’s clear that there is strong demand for a product like this that offers the opportunity to do good for the environment while enjoying a delicious dairy product that gives back to farmers.
What’s next? After reviewing the results of this first test, we hope to test the concept in more stores for a longer period of time!
weeksto build 2 prototypes
weekspilot at Day by Day