Mitsuba brings ‘the vibe of Asia’ to the West through their Asian snacks. All products are inspired by surprising oriental flavours and spices. Besides winning the hearts of consumers with their current range, they also want to be the innovator of the category.
Mitsuba saw a unique opportunity in the magical ingredient ‘seaweed’. Seaweed is still an unexplored food source in Europe. Mitsuba believed they could play a role in bringing this underwater vegetable to the West. But how to turn this exotic ingredient into a tasty, crunchy, and accessible snack for Western consumers?
Food by Design was asked to facilitate a food design thinking process to help Mitsuba unlock the potential of seaweed. Using our Food-by-Design method we led them through a 5-step innovation process. After formulating a clear strategy, a deep dive into the world of seaweed and an inspiring trend presentation, we facilitated an ideation session and started sketching to create 15 idea-options. These were validated with consumers and the insights brought together into a new snack concept.
The result is a range of seaweed crisps – crunchy umami bombs. Coming in favorite Weastern (yes, a combination of West and East) flavours such as sea salt, paprika and wasabi. The brand-new snack directly won an ISM 2nd prize in 2022. According to the jury, this Seaweed Crisps won because of its healthy character; the snack is plant-based, fiber-rich and made without the use of palm oil and flavour enhancers. In addition, the seaweed is carefully sourced from the the Seaweed Company. The aim of this cooperation: more sustainable seaweed farms to reduce CO2 emissions and improve biodiversity in the oceans.
Creating a new concept for snack innovation