How Ben & Jerry’s knows what ice cream you’ll crave in two years #MakerBusiness
An interesting look at the development cycle for Ben & Jerry’s flavors. Spoiler alert, Dill Pickle sorbet never made it to store shelves. Via Fast Company:
It takes 18-24 months for “Flavor Gurus” at Ben & Jerry’s “Flavor Lab” to create a new flavor. In their civilian lives, all the gurus are serious foodies–some are former restaurant chefs, others are chemists–but in the Flavor Lab they’re also required to be futurists, anticipating which ice cream flavors consumers will want two years hence.
STEP 1: BINGING ON INSPIRATION
In an initial conceptualization phase, Flavor Gurus set themselves a daunting task: to draw up a list of about 200 potential new flavors. To do that they consume (sometimes literally) dozens of sources on food trends, researching the latest gustatory innovations that may be market ready, or almost market ready. The team might embark on a “trend trek,” traveling to another city to experience not just its ice cream but its food and drinking culture overall. They’ll visit the newest restaurants and try the latest cocktails, taking field notes and talking things through. Or the Gurus might comb through food blogs and magazines hunting for inspiration.
STEP 2: AN ICE CREAM HUNGER GAMES
The team sends out a short survey to a representative slice of its massive email list of ice cream enthusiasts. The survey is extremely straightforward; it consists of a one-sentence description of each of the 200 flavors, followed by the same two questions apiece:
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.