Throughout my life, I thought everyone was as unhealthily obsessed with food as I was. Then I came to the recent realization that my own sister and best friend of over a decade hate food. They just hate food and wished that eating was optional instead of a necessity for human survival. WHAT! They argue it is time-consuming and a daily unnecessary stressor. Okay, even as a diehard foodie, I can agree with those points to some degree.
IKEA recently launched yet another product to help simplify our busy, busy everyday lives. They worked with ad agency Leo Burnett to create an easy-to-make recipe printed on parchment paper with food-safe ink. You can buy all the ingredients and the cookable paper right at IKEA. The design of the recipes mimic the iconic IKEA instructions. In theory, you can easily cook up a new meal in a matter of minutes.
What I love about this:
1. The beautifully executed work helped IKEA solve a practical business problem. Consumers were not buying IKEA’s produce. Now, everything they need for a home cooked meal is conveniently in one spot.
2. The product is accessible and great for visual learners.
3. The undeniably clever and simple concept easily attracts the targeted audience of IKEA.
What I hate about this:
I love white space, Helvetica, and clear solutions as much as the next design nerd, but stripping down the beauty of cooking into a single sheet of white paper with instructions seems…inhumane. I recognize the doors this paper may be opening for people who hate food or are terrified of cooking, but still! What happens when you take away the creativity or the room for experimentations? For me, this product strips away the beauty of cooking and food. It oversimplifies the joyous creative process. Perhaps I’m romanticizing cooking, but I stand firm in my beliefs that the act of cooking is an expression of ourselves. It’s like saying we should all consume Soylant. I’m not convinced that efficiency is the right direction for food. Dare I say, make the time it takes to make a delicious homecooked meal is part of what makes food taste so satisfying.
Which path would you prefer we go down? Efficiency or artisanry?0