Having opened in 1959, IKEA Food began as a means to keep customers happy while shopping for home furnishings. Mirroring the evolution of the company and consumer preferences, IKEA Food has grown from a humble support function, to having become a core aspect of the IKEA business model.
Design and communicate IKEA Food the mobile experience:
How can IKEA Food reach Millennials that might not otherwise interact with the brand? Considering the iconic nature of the brand and store, how can we ensure the mobile food experience feels unmistakably IKEA?
Our research revealed that although many Swedish millennials have fond memories of IKEA Food, their perception of the experience was impacted by the store's environment.
Having been told to "think outside the store," we thought we could use this opportunity to showcase IKEA food in the home, where food often tastes best.
Interviews revealed that Swedish millennials found the IKEA Food Market to sell products with quite specific use occasions, ultimately impacting the frequency of their interaction with IKEA Food.
A significant aspect of our concept was connecting IKEA Food to a tagline that we thought spoke to IKEA's values and the intention of our campaign: "We inspire, you create."
Take, for instance, cloudberry jam. Most Swedish millennials see this as an ice cream topping or a spread on toast... But what if IKEA Food could show the very same jam as a glaze on chicken or within a brie cheese sandwich? What if IKEA food could harness some of the same imagination used by IKEA furnishings, to inspire the consumer to see what they can do with IKEA food.
Further secondary research uncovered a wide variety of factors that are impacting the Swedish millennials daily dining experience, ranging from urbanization to smartphone use. The most significant factor impacting their meals however, was loneliness.
A key tenet of the IKEA brand philosophy is togetherness, so our team looked into how to make IKEA food a point of connection between individuals, the local community, Sweden, and perhaps abroad.
Introducing MINGLA - meaning 'to mingle' in Swedish.
Imagine that somebody moves into the vacant apartment in your building, and that you and your neighborhood are invited over for a dinner party. To get to know them, to be inspired by their approach to cooking... Now imagine that that new neighbor is IKEA Foods and you have the essence of our idea.
Drawing inspiration from the underground supperclub movement, we thought IKEA can select and stage vacant apartment listings to serve as a setting for the catered Mingla event.
Not only would the apartment owners and neighbors find value in having a building selected by IKEA; but IKEA would also have a valuable interaction point where: the environment elevated the perceived quality of the food, guests were introduced to delicious and simple reimaginings of traditionally one-dimensional ingredients, and a community is inspired by the bonds they made and the food they ate together.
How Mingla Works (the 5E Experience Model)
Mingla draws excitement in a few different ways...
On the ground: When Mingla arrives on location, a few known pieces of IKEA furniture are to be secured in various spots around the city. Indicated from a distance by the iconic aisle arrows, upon closer inspection the furniture asks the curious to visit the Mingla event site.
Online: On the Mingla event-site, visitors are entered into a dinner party raffle and asked a few preferences and to indicate which of the available dates they might wish to attend. A social media campaign based on the popular Swedish television show, På Spåret, will also serve to sustain interest throughout the campaign. På Spåret, meaning 'On the Tracks' gives the viewer hints to the approaching location during the journey there; IKEA would then be able to keep their followers actively guessing where Mingla will head next.
At the event: The same iconic arrows leading the public to beloved pieces of IKEA furniture promoting the event, will also lead visitors up the stairs to Mingla. Along the way, guests will see IKEA integrate as a part of the everyday.
The apartment will be staged in a way that showcases IKEA's skill for working beyond constraints, and in the modern, cozy, and everyday style now so synonymous with IKEA. Fresh herbs, soft candle light, and the smell of a great meal will set the mood and create a natural meeting spot amongst guests.
A guest is given a name-tag and a seat where they will soon enjoy their meal, while a few cheerful hosts discuss the intention of the Mingla event and the menu available. Together, visitors are inspired to find new friendships over a shared experience around IKEA Food. These surprises, friendships, and meals, will in turn be directly and indirect shared on various social media platforms.
We want the guest to leave feeling inspired, and ready to go home and create. We are also looking for guests to feel a stronger connection to both IKEA Food and their greater community.
Seeking to demonstrate the quality and versatility of IKEA Food, we imagine that recipe booklets would be a great way to have guests recreate the featured meal at home. On occasion, certain ingredients can be emphasized and available for purchase: i.e. 50 ways to use cloudberry jam. We thought a potential extension of the event could come in a take-home Mingla box - featuring a variety of IKEA Food's products and a series of imaginative, accessible, and adaptable recipes that make the most out of the box.
Client Contact: Our relationship with the client was crucial for ensuring our concept fit within the greater journey of the IKEA Food brand.
Forming Personas: Following extensive secondary research and primary interviews, we compiled our insights and created personas to inform and contextualize our process.
A Day in the Life: We then used these personas to map out the flow of their everyday life, to identify where we and when we could create a meaningful touchpoint between them and IKEA Food.
Feedback: Throughout our creative process our team received a lot of feedback from our class, industry leader, and lecturers as well. While we were never told what to do, we certainly had help to identify weak spots within the concept and pitch.
Ideation: A crucial aspect of the design thinking approach, we used a range of ideation techniques; both from the Hyper Island Toolbox and outside lectures, to facilitate our team's concept development process.
Team is Everything
Karin Backlund - Anna Jungerhem - Me
As creatives sometimes wearing experience designer hats.