Future Food Institute
During my time at Future Food Institute (Future Food Americas), I had the opportunity to work on various design consultancy projects as an Associate Designer. My role involved applying a design-thinking approach, supporting the team with research, ideation, and providing design insights. I also assisted the Head of Design in all day-to-day activities such as client management, project management and prioritization.
Some of my selected project experiences at Future Food Americas include:
(All projects have limited details due to NDA)
Consumer research for a CPG brand
The objective of this project was to conduct design research to drive the further development of a line of fermented functional foods and beverages for a CPG company.
The scope of this project included conducting qualitative interviews and focus groups with consumers in the US, UK and Europe to understand their beverage choices, health and wellness needs, perception of gut health, current solutions, and their current and potential consumption of functional foods and beverages.
The research also focused on understanding the consumers' purchase drivers, decision-making journey, consumption occasions, and barriers to trial or purchase.
8 focus groups were conducted with 48 participants aged 25-36 who were selected based on their characteristics of being health conscious, interested in nutrition, and currently using functional foods and supplements.
Two consumer archetypes were chosen: "Flirters" (who are familiar with and like the food/beverage but aren't regular buyers) and "Frequenters" (who are familiar with, like the food/beverage and are regular buyers).
Topics analyzed included general beverage lifestyle, relationship with the functional food/beverage, buying habits, behavioral attributes and reactions to stimulus.
The outcome of this project was a report of insights and recommendations for the CPG company based on the research findings. These insights and recommendations were used to inform the development and positioning of their line of functional foods and beverages.
The research findings from this project allowed the CPG company to gain a deeper understanding of the potential market for their products, identify potential barriers to purchase, and identify areas for improvement.
These insights and recommendations were used to inform the development and positioning of their line of functional foods and beverages, ultimately helping the company make informed decisions that would drive the integration of their products into consumers' daily consumption habits.
Future Scenario Building for an MNC
The objective of this project was to research and design scenarios of the future for an MNC in 2040 to inform their innovation strategy and position them as an industry leader.
The scope of this project included conducting research to identify trends and signals of the future, building scenarios for the MNC company in 2040, and exploring human and planetary needs that would arise as a result of each scenario. The project also involved developing insights into a presentation format and assessing new business models for each scenario.
The project was conducted over a 5 week period and included phases of integration, discovery, and ideation. The team included members from the MNC company, Future Food, and a partner venture. Research methods included signal generation, expert interviews, focus groups, and the review of over 140 reports and 215 signals. 23 expert interviews were conducted with professionals from 16 countries and two focus groups were held with 12 Climate Shapers.
The project resulted in 4 future food scenarios and associated business models for the MNC company in 2040. These were presented in a presentation format and included potential consumer propositions. The findings from the project will inform the MNC company's innovation strategy and help them become an industry leader in 2040.
The 4 scenarios were presented in a presentation format and included potential consumer propositions. The findings from the project will inform the MNC company's innovation strategy and help them become an industry leader in 2040.
Cities2030 - a European Commission funded project
The objective of the CITIES2030 project is to improve urban food systems and ecosystems in European cities through the development of sustainable and effective solutions that put consumers at the center.
Urbanization, population growth, climate change, and resource scarcity are major challenges facing the food industry today. These challenges are compounded by the fact that approximately 9 billion people, most of whom live in cities, will be reliant on food systems in the future. Without action to transition towards sustainable urban food systems and ecosystems, the environment will continue to be degraded, and the world's capacity to produce quality food for all will be diminished.
The CITIES2030 project used a unique methodology of splitting goals into 8 work packages and working with 40+ partners, using systems thinking and participatory design methodologies. A Handbook was created that printed out a roadmap to deploy Extended Innovation Pattern (EIP) to development and innovation actions towards sustainable Cities and Regions Food Systems.
The project piloted its approach in 40+ selected cities, to ensure actionable roadmaps and policy frameworks for the implementation of sustainable urban food systems.
The CITIES2030 project was a significant responsibility for me, with the potential to bring in over 250k Euros in funding for Future Food. As an internal coordinator for the work package 5: living labs in the CITIES2030 project, my responsibilities included:
Leading a cross-functional team for my work package on ground at the living lab in Pollica, Italy
Managing timelines, documentation, and reporting for the living lab
Designing educational sessions, workshops, teacher training, and other programs aimed at combating educational poverty and encouraging entrepreneurship in the community.
Designing and planning the implementation of innovative projects aimed at combating depopulation and promoting sustainable agriculture, fishing, and tourism in the region.
The anticipated outcomes of the CITIES2030 project include the establishment of 50+ policy and living labs in Europe by September 2024, as part of an international framework and platform. The project also aims to deliver practical solutions that align with FOOD 2030 and UN's SDG11 and New Urban Agenda policies.
The impact of the CITIES2030 project will be to improve the resilience and sustainability of cities and regions through the development of innovative and effective solutions for urban food systems. The project has the potential to work towards transforming and restructuring food production, transportation, and supply, as well as recycling and reusing food in the 21st century.