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TeakOrigin Guide | 2020

TeakOrigin Guide | 2020
TeakOrigin Guide | 2020

Designers: Essential Design, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Manufacturer: TeakOrigin Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, USA

TeakOrigin Guide | 2020
TeakOrigin Guide | 2020

Project Description

Anyone who’s ever bitten into a mealy apple knows how difficult (and disappointing) it can be trying to pick out fresh food. We look, smell and squeeze fruit in the grocery store, but we don’t actually know where it came from, how long it’s been sitting on a shelf, or what the nutritional value is. 

Enter TeakOrigin. TeakOrigin’s “Nutritional Intelligence” platform uses advanced spectroscopic imaging and a massive food dataset to evaluate the chemical composition of produce – providing consistent measurements of nutritional value. Essential Design, part of PA Consulting, created an interactive web tool that translates these never-before-seen data points into insights that are accessible, actionable, and easily understood by both retailers and consumers. We led Brand Strategy, UX/UI Design and Development for the startup.

We developed a visual and verbal design language for TeakOrigin that translates food data into measurements of the nutritional quality and freshness of produce. We applied the system guidelines to the design of data dashboards that produce buyers and retail managers can use to manage inventory and monitor quality control. It also informed our development of the TeakOrigin Guide, a digital tool for consumers to evaluate local produce on their smartphones or other devices. The metrics create an ecosystem for growers, sellers, and buyers to better understand nutritional quality.

Our design strategy began with delving into customer expectations. By understanding consumer demands and motivations, growers and retailers have better insights into how they can change the way they measure and convey food quality. Sellers could easily integrate our resources in their commercial product marketing. Consumers could complement their shopping behaviors with evidence-based tools. The design language balanced the criteria for commercial rigor, retail ease of use, and supply chain data insights.

Radical nutritional transparency can change the perception between food price and food value. It also changes the game by showing how long journeys impact nutrition. TeakOrigin has found that the Vitamin C content in store-bought apples is wildly diminished compared to fresh-picked fruit from the orchard. With this data at hand, retailers and suppliers may find local growers more valuable than distant ones. This in turn would significantly boost the sustainability of produce as transport-related emissions decrease. The TeakOrigin model is being optimized with stakeholders across the supply chain in the US and UK. The platform is well-positioned to ensure the nutritional quality of our food supply from farm to table, and boost sustainability.