See where we make food happen!

We strive to get our clients as close to the end product as possible, as early in the process as possible. See where we create food concepts and protocepts for our clients.

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Our Approach

INTEGRATED INNOVATION: DRIVEN BY STRATEGY, ENABLED BY INSIGHTS

No matter what you hire us for, we bring holistic thinking to your project from strategy through scale up.

WE BELIEVE

1. PROLIFIC PROTOTYPING

Get to the food as fast as possible.

2. STAND OUT!

Identify a powerful point of difference.

3. FOCUS ON CRAVEABILITY

Create craveable products to drive frequency of purchase.

4. SOLVE A NEED OR WANT

Create a product that solves a distinct need or want in consumers’ lives.

5. BUILD PRODUCTS FOR SCALE

Launch quickly—at whatever scale–with a line of sight to efficient production.

CULINARY-DRIVEN TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT

We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area at the epicenter of food trends, where ethnic food is comfort food, where wine is a part of daily life, and where fresh, local, seasonal food is the way we’ve been eating for centuries.

Our cross-trained chefs help guide the technical development of protocepts. Our food technologists assure that the culinary work we do is technically feasible at scale.

We build protocepts that are scalable, not fantastical, because we understand that getting a scaled, robust, and financially viable product to market is the only way you’ll meet your business objectives.

INSIGHT DRIVEN BRAND AND PACKAGE DESIGN

Creating amazing products that people love is hard. Getting people to find, connect with and buy your product in today’s highly competitive marketplace is even harder.

Our clients come to us because our work works harder. They know that the brand & packaging solutions we create are smarter and more compelling in execution than what they get from the usual suspects in the industry.

Why are we better? Because better designs starts with better insight. And, we are strategists, marketers and innovators who put better consumer insight at the center of what we do.

If you’re the type of client that won’t settle for “good enough,” then you’re the type of client we would love to work with.

Concept Creation

Regardless of how we fill the pipeline for you, we apply holistic thinking, decades of cross-category experience, and an innate understanding of trends and consumer food behavior to transform your hopes into viable businesses.

ProtoThink

ProtoThink is a mobile co-creation platform. Using social media as a tool, we ideate in real time, online.

Our creative team of food inventors moderate the sessions to stimulate thinking to identify disruptive, yet feasible concepts that match your needs. We then turn the output from ProtoThink into new-to-you concepts as well as new-to-the-world innovations.

FoodStudio

The Food Studio is a collaborative ideation session where we create real models. Being able to visualize concepts beyond words on paper results in a more successful ideation. We unleash creativity with real food you can see, touch, and (sometimes) eat. The result is dozens of concepts created in a single session. This team-building environment fosters buy-in from all disciplines. And it’s loads of fun!

Play-Food Studio SEE THE FOOD STUDIO IN ACTION

Concept Blueprints

Leverage our innovation team’s 200-plus years of combined experience to identify food opportunities where none seem to exist.

You set the criteria; we ideate within these parameters. Then, we deliver concepts as a holistic, strategic blueprint. This outlines the elements required to get you to market: from positioning to culinary strategy, from food processing technology to manufacturing, and from placement to channel strategy.

Inspiration for Concept and Product Development

Every team needs inspiration beyond your four walls. We offer a range of engagements to spur creativity, foster cross-team collaboration and provide fodder for your next product line, menu concept, food form or ingredient.

CONSUMER INSIGHTS

Uncover insights from the only truly integrated end-to-end innovation firm in the Food & Beverage industry.

We integrate research seamlessly into the development plan in a way a third party vendor cannot. You can rest assured that the research is being conducted with actionable results in mind. That’s the way we’re wired, because we’re usually tasked with executing upon those results.

WE CONDUCT CUSTOM PRIMARY RESEARCH OF ALL TYPES:

• Qualitative

• Quantitative

• Custom Panels

INTEGRATED BRAND AND PACKAGE DESIGN

We are a talented, award-winning group of strategists, marketers and designers who know how to weave consumer insight and creativity into compelling brand and product experiences.


We believe seamless integration between food design and brand design leads to better, faster and more efficient outcomes.


Most importantly, companies that match their brand promise to the products they make will enjoy significant long-term competitive advantage.

Brand Development

Product Design and Development

A great product is your ultimate competitive advantage. We develop products for every category, consumer need state, technology, temperature state, culinary tradition, and channel of distribution.

WE OFFER

• Product Design

• Menu Design

• Product Research and Development

• Ingredient Applications

• Manufacturing Process Development

Commercialization

With our cross-functional food lab teams, dedicated commercialization specialists, and two on-site pilot plants, we are able to meet your commercialization needs. From identifying qualified co-packers to leading plant trials, from managing full-size production runs to conducting shelf-life testing, our team is 
experienced across virtually every technology to ensure your product is commercially viable and market-ready.

Play-Commercialization SEE OUR PROCESS